SANTA PAULA : Deputies Arrest Second Suspect in Fatal Shooting


The second of three suspects was in custody Wednesday night in connection with a shooting that took the life of a Santa Paula man July 30, authorities said.

Steven Gutierrez, 18, was arrested by Ventura County sheriff’s deputies about 5 p.m. Tuesday while driving in Santa Paula, Sgt. Lance Young said.

Gutierrez is being held at Ventura County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, Young said.

Gutierrez is suspected in the shooting of 27-year-old Benicio Maldonado as Maldonado sat with several friends near the 1500 block of Texas Lane in Santa Paula, authorities said.


Young said three men approached Maldonado and his friends with two guns and attempted to rob them.

Shots were fired after words were exchanged, and Maldonado was hit.

He was pronounced dead on arrival from a gunshot wound in the heart at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital.

Young said police have had to search for witnesses because Maldonado’s friends fled after the shooting.

Someone carried Maldonado about 100 yards and fled after pounding on a residence door for help, he said.

Raymond Curtis, 23, of Santa Paula was arrested Friday in connection with Maldonado’s death. He is in Ventura County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Police are still searching for a third man who they believe was involved, Young said.