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Authorities arrest suspect in 1987 San Diego County shooting that killed 2 and wounded 2

Authorities have extradited a 59-year-old man who they say fled to Mexico after killing two members of a family and wounding two other men in a shooting at a 4-year-old’s birthday party more than 32 years ago, San Diego County sheriff’s officials said Friday.

Jose Angel Solorio, 27 at the time of the shooting, is suspected of killing German Aviles, 26, and Ventura Aviles, 21, and wounding Jose Aviles and Carlos Holgin at the party in the rural town of Ramona in 1987, Sheriff’s Homicide Lt. Michael Blevins said.

Solorio fled to Mexico after the shooting and was found by authorities there in March, Blevins said in a statement. Federal law enforcement agents worked with Mexican officials to arrest Solorio and eventually extradite him to the U.S.

On Friday, Solorio was brought to San Diego and turned over to Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives, Blevins said.

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Jail records showed he was booked into custody on two counts each of murder and attempted murder. Solorio, who turns 60 on Sunday, was being held without bail.

According to authorities, the shooting happened just before 11 p.m. on June 7, 1987, at an apartment on B and 7th streets in Ramona. During the child’s birthday party, Solorio got into an argument with several people, became upset and left with family members, authorities said.

“A short time later, Solorio came back to the apartment with a gun,” Blevins said in a statement. “He shot three males inside the apartment. They were identified as German Aviles, Ventura Aviles and Carlos Holgin. As he was exiting the apartment, Solorio also shot Jose Aviles.”

German and Ventura Aviles were dead inside the apartment by the time authorities arrived, Blevins said. Medics took Holgin and Jose Aviles to a hospital, where they were treated.

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Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Solorio shortly after the shooting but learned he had fled to Mexico, Blevins said, and detectives were unable to locate him even with the help of the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.

A hint about Solorio’s whereabouts came in 2002, when homicide detectives tracked down one of his relatives in Texas, Blevins said. But that family member told authorities she had not had contact with Solorio for about two years and didn’t know his exact location in Mexico.

Authorities did not say what ultimately led them to Solorio 32 years after the shooting. According to Blevins, the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service worked with Mexican law enforcement personnel to detain Solorio, and then worked with the San Diego County district attorney’s office and the Mexican Consulate to extradite him stateside.

Riggins writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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