Testimony alleges Fairfield shooting was gang related

By From page A3 | November 06, 2012

FAIRFIELD — The prosecution in the case against defendant Enrique Tabares contends that the Sept. 2 shooting of a Fairfield man on East Pacific Avenue was a gang-related crime, with an expert on local gangs saying that Tabares was an admitted member of the Sureños street gang.

Tabares’ defense attorney used the Monday preliminary hearing to elicit testimony that two of the three young men present at the shooting could not identify Tabares as the person who opened fire on the trio, hitting victim Luis Mejia in the stomach, and that much of the witness information given to the police was contradictory.

Tabares is accused attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly opened fire at Mejia, Jesus Galvan and Jose Guevara from a vehicle while the three young men walked along East Pacific Avenue.

Only Mejia testified specifically that it was Tabares who fired on them, allegedly first firing one shot into the air and then three more at the three men.

Defense attorney Thomas Maas pressed Mejia on Tabares’ description, particularly on the length of Tabares’ hair. The three witnesses said the gunman wore long hair on the day of the shooting. Tabares has a short hair now. Maas also said that on the day of the shooting, Mejia told police he did not know who shot him.

Both Galvan and Guevara testified that the gunman had long hair. Galvan said that it was hard to see the gunman’s face because he was shaking his head and his hair was falling across his face at the time.

Fairfield police officer Roy Stockton, who interviewed the witnesses, was asked about the discrepancies in the description of the gunman. Stockton said that Tabares told him that he had recently cut his hair, but could not say specifically when his hair was cut. Maas showed video of police questioning Tabares to show that Tabares said he cut his hair at the time when his younger brother started school.

Detective Jose Villanueva took the stand to describe the situation with Norteño and Sureño street gangs in Fairfield, saying a shooting such as the one that happened Sept. 2, which happened near a Norteño area, was done to intimidate people, sow fear and give the gunman respect within the gang.

Testimony from both the witnesses and police indicated that at least some of the three young men were wearing St. Louis Cardinals baseball caps, which include the color red, a color claimed by the Norteños.

“Gang cases are the most difficult because people are scared,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva testified that he had several previous contacts with Tabares, who he said admitted several times that he was a Sureño gang member and was an enemy of the Norteños.

Tabares’ preliminary hearing is slated to continue Tuesday in Superior Court Judge Peter Foor’s courtroom.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.

Discussion | 4 comments

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  • Next ...November 06, 2012 - 12:24 am

    Every city has a gang problem and their only enemies seem to only be each other ... so why is it news? I could care less about Jose and Jesus' and their gang affiliations, let them kill each other off and let their families deal with it. I really have no idea what the purpose of gangs are anyway, they create their own chaos ... and for what? A block and all its knuckleheads? Dreamy.

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  • ThankfullyNovember 06, 2012 - 6:05 am

    The law applies to people you care about and people you couldn't care less about. Violence does not confine itself to one area or group of people. It spreads and everyone pays the price.

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  • FPDFPDNovember 06, 2012 - 10:40 pm

    If only we could round all the gang members up, put them into a ring, let them go at each other until only one person is alive. Then we could give him a sticker and call him the strongest gang member in the land. The End.

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  • see for yourselfDecember 30, 2012 - 10:29 am

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually realize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally visit my website =). We will have a hyperlink trade agreement among us

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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