Suspect arrested in 2017 Gilroy murder

Jay Vasquez in jail on $10M bail

Federal and regional authorities last week arrested a suspect who has been on the run since he killed a victim in Gilroy in November 2017, according to police.

On April 19, agents from the the Bay Area OCS-Fugitive Apprehension Team and U.S. Marshals Service were conducting surveillance on an apartment complex on the 5800 block of Charlotte Drive in San Jose. The agents tracked the 2017 murder suspect, Jay Vasquez, 20, to the location and watched as he exited the complex, entered a vehicle and drove away.

The agents made a traffic stop on the vehicle, and arrested Vasquez without incident, according to a press release from the Gilroy Police Department.

After Vasquez was detained, officers executed a search warrant on the Charlotte Drive apartment associated to Vasquez, and found evidence related to the Gilroy murder investigation, according to police.

Vasquez was transported to Santa Clara County Jail and booked on suspicion of homicide. He is being held on $10 million bail, according to authorities.

Vasquez was wanted for the Nov. 29, 2017, shooting murder of Jason Contreras, 32, according to police. The shooting, which authorities think was gang-related, occurred on the 7500 block of Alexander Street in east Gilroy. The incident was apparently the result of an argument between the suspect and victim, police and witnesses have said.

Just before shots were fired about 4:30pm Nov. 29, Contreras was in a parked car with three or four people, witnesses told the Dispatch days after the death. Contreras reportedly exited the vehicle when a confrontation with Vasquez began.

Vasquez then fired two shots at Contreras—one to his chest and another to his abdomen, a witness said.

Paramedics rushed to the scene, but were unable to save Contreras’ life.

Gilroy Police said the homicide was gang-related.

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