Gilroy teen shot in Morgan Hill dies of wounds; Police search
for two others involved in suspected gang-related attack
Morgan Hill – Police arrested one of three suspects for the murder of 19-year-old Gilroy resident Luis Santos Bautista, who was gunned down Friday night in an apparent gang-related shooting. Police believe one of the suspects may live in Gilroy.
Anthony James Frausto, 18, of Morgan Hill, was arrested Sunday and is being held without bail at Santa Clara County Jail. His arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in Santa Clara County Court in San Martin.
Detectives worked around the clock interviewing witnesses, and believe Bautista’s murder may be related to a number of recent gang related incidents.
The shooting occurred at 8pm Friday behind Safeway grocery store in Tennant Station. Witnesses told officers at the scene that a group of five males in their late teens or early 20s were chasing another male through the parking lot – then shots were heard, said Cmdr. Joe Sampson.
The suspects fled the scene in a black Camaro and a white Volkswagen Jetta or Ford sedan, witnesses told police. Someone at the scene then took Bautista, who was shot in the arm, chest, abdomen and thigh, to Saint Louise Medical Center. He was later flown to the Regional Medical Center in San Jose. He died at 11:40pm Friday night.
According to his family, Sampson said, Bautista came to the United States from Mexico less than a year ago, and he has no gang ties. He was not known to the Morgan Hill or Gilroy police, but he is believed to be an associate of the Sureño gang.
Bautista lived in a one story apartment on the southside of Gilroy adjacent to the Ochoa Migrant Camp beside agricultural fields. A white lace curtain covered the doorway. Family members declined to comment.
“He was with Sureño gang members at the time they encountered the Norteño members Friday night,” Sampson said. “All the players seem to be tied into this incident as well as other things that have been going on here in the past month or so.”
Frausto is believed to be a Norteño gang member.
Although Morgan Hill police arrested Frausto quickly, detectives believe there are still two accomplices at large. Sampson said one of them may be a white male and the other an Hispanic male.
“One of them we believe may be a Gilroy resident, but these guys move around so much, it’s hard to keep track of them,” said Sampson. “That’s one reason we really want to move swiftly today. There’s also the weapon, which hasn’t been found.”
In order to locate the weapon, believed to be a large revolver, detectives are securing search warrants and are “hitting as many houses as possible,” Sampson said.
As the investigation continues, more is coming to light about recent gang activities.
“The streets are hot right now,” he said. “There are a lot of players in the puzzle.”
A rash of fights broke out this weekend in Morgan Hill.
“There were fights all day Sunday, and someone said a gun was seen at a fight,” Sampson said. “There was a fight yesterday on San Luis Way, with bats and knives. Someone claimed to see a gun, and everyone scattered.”
Another fight required police to taser Abimael Vargas, 33, at Village Avante (on Del Monte Avenue). “Everybody was flying colors over there,” Sampson said.
Gang fights occurred at Live Oak High Monday during the brunch break and at lunch. No one was seriously injured.
This level of gang activity is not usual for Morgan Hill.
“We think this may all tie-in together with some gang unrest,” said Sampson. “Our focus and our concern is what will happen from this point forward in the gang community. We will certainly beef up our suppression efforts. We will be requesting assistance, possibly from Gilroy. This is taking up a lot of our staff time right now, and we want to ensure the safety of our citizens.”
Citizens should not be worried that they are in danger, Sampson said.
“The violence is between members of the rival gangs,” he said. “The biggest concern would maybe be getting caught in the crossfire, but that’s not something we can predict. That’s why we want to get these guys off the street as soon as possible.”
Kristen Munson contributed to this report.