Shooting Ruled as a Homicide

The shooting death of a 20-year-old Santa Paula man is being investigated as a homicide, police said Saturday.

Rogelio Torres died Thursday night at Ventura County Medical Center, a day after he was found with a gunshot wound to the head inside his car in Santa Paula, authorities said.

Santa Paula police initially said the wound was accidentally self-inflicted, because a small-caliber handgun was found in Torres’ car.

But following an autopsy Saturday, detectives ruled the case a homicide, Chief Deputy Medical Examiner Craig Stevens said.


Police Sgt. Carlos Juarez, in a prepared statement, said ballistics evidence led detectives to begin searching for a shooter, who had not been identified Saturday night.

Torres remained on life support until his family was contacted in Mexico, where they were vacationing. After Torres died, his family donated his organs, Stevens said.

Police declined to release further details about Torres. Detectives asked that anyone with information call them at 525-4474 or call anonymously at 525-4253, then push #1.