Local

Man killed in Porterville drive-by shooting

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A drive-by shooting in the South Valley killed a Porterville man. Investigators say it happened in a neighborhood near Orange and Maurer.

Family members say Johnny Cervantes was on his front porch when a car pulled up and someone fired several rounds and killed him. Cervantes nephew, Rueben Castrita, said his uncle was not the intended target. Witnesses saw the gunfire which killed Johnny Cervantes Monday night.

"He was a good guy, he never done anything to anyone, it's just too sad you know," said Castrita. He said he still can't believe the 45-year-old was gunned down.

Castrita says he saw a driver and a passenger shoot from inside a moving car. Over the past few weeks neighbors say gunmen targeted the home several times. Neighbors believe the shooters were aiming for another relative who recently dropped out of a gang.

"Because he tried to better his life, all this horrendous ugliness and innocent people getting killed, people on the street know who did it," neighbor Tony Lopez said.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office Gang Unit is looking for the car used in the drive by.

"We are not putting the suspect vehicle information out just yet until we can get enough people to verify the information is correct that we are going to put out," said Sgt. Chris Douglass with the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

Over the past few weeks investigators say they have seen a spike in violence in the South Valley.

"Alcohol intake is greater in the summer time and the heat, people getting outside more. It's not necessarily specific to Porterville, it could be anywhere," Sgt. Douglass said. Investigators are asking anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area of the shooting to call the sheriff's office.

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porterville, shooting, local, mariana jacob
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