Suspect in Livermore Drive-By Shooting Sought in Sacramento, Fresno Murders - NBC Bay Area
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Suspect in Livermore Drive-By Shooting Sought in Sacramento, Fresno Murders

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    Suspect in Livermore Drive-By Shooting Sought in Sacramento, Fresno Murders
    Livermore Police Department
    Jason Alexander Brown, 18, of Oakland.

    The alleged gunman in a fatal weekend drive-by shooting in Livermore — who is suspected of killing a man in Fresno — was also tied to a murder in Sacramento late Tuesday, according to authorities.

    Police believe Jason Alexander Brown, 18, who is wanted in connection to a Saturday homicide outside a CVS Pharmacy at 1500 First Street, and John Bunch, 24, are responsible for shooting 53-year-old Walter Gibson in Sacramento on Sept. 28.

    Bunch, who so far has not been connected to the Livermore incident, was arrested in Alameda County at 10 a.m. Tuesday, police said. Brown remains on the loose and is believed to be armed and dangerous.

    John Bunch
    Photo credit: Sacramento Police Department

    According to police, dispatch fielded a number of 911 calls just after 6 p.m. Saturday and responding officers found two men in their 20s suffering from gunshots inside a parked car in the Livermore mall.

    The victims were identified late Monday as 32-year-old Jose Mendoza — the driver who was pronounced dead at the scene — and 22-year-old Ulizes Benitez. Both are Turlock residents, police said.

    Benitez, who was in the front passenger seat and was shot multiple times, underwent surgery at an undisclosed hospital and remains in critical condition, according to police. 

    According to witness accounts, the suspects raced away Saturday in a 2006 BMW 325i whose license plate number is 5PLR682. The car, which is black and sports a pair of red racing stripes on its hood, is registered to Brown, police said.

    Witnesses described the driver – later identified as Brown – as a tall, thin African-American man wearing a beanie. They also reported that a large-caliber assault rifle was used in the shooting, according to police.

    Police said Brown and his accomplice fled from the CVS parking lot onto Railroad Avenue. California Highway Patrol officers located their vehicle on I-580 and initiated a pursuit, but the pair gave them the slip in Oakland.

    Livermore detectives obtained a no-bail warrant late Saturday for Brown’s arrest on one count of murder and one count of attempted murder as well as a search warrant to comb through his mother’s West Oakland residence, police said.

    Brown wasn’t home when a SWAT team stormed the Center Street property late that night, but police have been able to locate his BMW and impound it.

    A motive and circumstances surrounding the shooting remain under investigation, according to police.

    Meanwhile, Fresno police said Albert Thao, 27, was killed and another man was wounded by gunfire while they were eating at a Thai eatery called MeKhong Restaurant on Sept. 12. A suspect – believed to be Brown – was seen fleeing the scene in a gray Dodge Charger, he said.

    Anyone who sees the suspects is asked to stay away from them and immediately call 911 or the Livermore Police Department-Public Information Officer line at 925-371-4777.

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