Police arrest suspects in last month’s Santa Rosa Park shooting

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comDecember 7, 2012 

Police have arrested four suspects in last month’s Santa Rosa Park shooting that began as a drug deal and left a man with a bullet lodged near his spinal cord, according to a news release from the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Three of the suspects are from Fresno - two of whom are still being sought by police.

Just after midnight Nov. 7, San Luis Obispo Police officers responded to a call of a man screaming at the park, authorities said. The man was shot and reportedly told officers that half a dozen men whom he knew attacked him.

The victim, whose name was not disclosed, was transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. Doctors were unable to remove the bullet, since it was lodged between two vertebras and close to the spinal cord, according to police. The victim has been released from the hospital and is experiencing some paralysis in his right leg.

Since then, the investigation has led San Luis Obispo police to learn that the shooting began with a group of teens who allegedly conspired to steal money from the victim who was trying to buy a “large quantity” of marijuana, according to the news release.

“When the suspects confronted the victim, he began to run and one of the suspects shot him in the back as he fled,” police said in the release.

Within days, police arrested San Luis Obispo residents Tyler Garrett Silveira, 20; Nicholas Joseph Lopez, 18; and Gannon Rene del Fierro, 18. Silveira was booked on conspiracy charges; Lopez was booked on charges of robbery and conspiracy and Fierro was booked on charges of conspiracy and robbery.

The investigation also led to the identification of three additional suspects in Fresno.

On Dec. 6, San Luis Obispo Police detectives traveled to Fresno County with multiple search and arrest warrants for Fresno residents Jeffrey Mana Sigxaydene, 19; Benjamin Adam Ma, 19; and Mitchell Soundara, 18.

With help from numerous local agencies in the Fresno area, authorities simultaneously served search warrants, which led to the arrest of Singxaydene, uncovered multiple weapons and seized hundreds of pounds of processed marijuana, police said.

Ma and Soundara were not located during the search and there are warrants for their arrest.

"We are fortunate these crimes do not occur in SLO as often as in other communities. When they do, we want to send a loud message that we will do whatever it takes to find those responsible and hold them accountable. I think we've sent that message with these arrests and weeks of diligent police work," San Luis Obispo Chief of Police Stephen Gesell said in a statement.

Those arrested have been charged with everything from conspiracy, to attempted murder and robbery.

The investigation is still ongoing.

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