Fifth suspect in shooting at SLO's Santa Rosa Park is arrested

acornejo@thetribunenews.comMay 7, 2013 

A fifth man has been arrested in connection with a shooting at Santa Rosa Park in November, according to San Luis Obispo police. One suspect remains at large.

Benjamin Adam Ma, 19, was arrested in Fresno on April 19 for his alleged role in the shooting, which happened during a drug deal and left a man with a bullet lodged near his spinal cord, according to police. An arrest warrant was issued for him in December.

Ma was found sitting outside a Fresno liquor store, according to authorities. Police said they found a copy of a news release they had issued about the shooting prior to his arrest on his cell phone. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and possessing marijuana for sale, and taken to San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Authorities are still looking for Mitchell Soundara, 18, of Fresno. An arrest warrant was also issued for Soundara in December for assault with a deadly weapon, robbery and possession of marijuana for sale.

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

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

During an investigation, San Luis Obispo police learned 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 a 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.

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 into County Jail on suspicion of conspiracy, while Lopez and Fierro were booked on suspicion of conspiracy and robbery.

San Luis Obispo police detectives then traveled to Fresno County looking for three additional suspects: Ma, Soundara and 19-year-old Jeffrey Mana Sigxaydene.

With help from numerous agencies in Fresno, authorities simultaneously served multiple search warrants, which led to the arrest of Sigxaydene. Authorities also uncovered several weapons and hundreds of pounds of processed marijuana, police said.

Those with information about the shooting or Soundara's whereabouts can call the San Luis Obispo Police Department at 781-7317 or the anonymous Crime Stopper tip line at 549-STOP.

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