TURLOCK, Calif (KTXL) — Officers arrested a man Tuesday on suspicion of shooting and killing a woman he had allegedly stalked, according to the Turlock Police Department.
Officers identified the suspect as 22-year-old Juan Francisco Ibarra-Tapia, a Livingston resident.
On March 8 at around 9 p.m, police said the department received calls of a shooting in the area of Geer Road and Wayside Drive. When officers arrived at the scene, they located a victim who had multiple gunshot wounds.
Police identified the victim as 22-year-old Zobeyda Esquerra of Livingston. Turlock police said Esquerra received medical care at the scene and was transported to a local hospital where she died from her injuries.
An officer patrolling the area made an attempt to stop a light-colored vehicle that was reportedly involved in the shooting, but the driver fled, police said. According to police, officers pursued the vehicle, which later crashed into a fence on North Quincy Road near Arbor Way.
The driver then got out of the car and ran away, sparking a search of the area, police said.
Police said the department sent an emergency notification to residents in the area, telling them to shelter in place, lock doors and report suspicious activity. After completing a yard-to-yard search, police said a resident called 911 to report they saw the suspect in the area.
Officers said they later found him hiding in a nearby neighborhood and arrested him.
After further investigation, police said Ibarra-Tapia knew the victim and had been previously arrested for allegedly stalking her in Merced County in October. Police said Ibarra-Tapia made bail, but the status of those charges is currently unknown.
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family, and we hope the arrest of the suspect brings some sense of closure as they mourn the loss of Zoe,” Turlock Police Detective Gina Giovacchini said in the report.
A GoFundMe page was started to help the family put Esquerra to rest.
Police said their investigation also revealed that Ibarra-Tapia allegedly shot at two employees inside an O’Reilly Auto Parts store on 1144 Geer Road. According to police, those employees were not injured. In the police report, detectives said Ibarra-Tapia’s alleged actions were not a random act of violence.
Ibarra-Tapia was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on suspicion of homicide, attempted homicide, discharging a firearm in the commission of a felony, and evading police.
He is being held without bail and police said they believe they have recovered the gun used in the shooting.
For anyone with information about the shooting, police ask to call Detective Giovacchini at 209-668-6539.