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Police hunt for suspected shooter in fatal drive-by; victim identified

Police hunt for suspected shooter in fatal drive-by; victim identified

Turlock police detectives have identified Gabriel Miranda, 23, as the suspected shooter in last week’s homicide and are warning the public that he is believed to be armed and dangerous.


POSTED May 8, 2012 10:04 p.m.

 

Turlock police detectives have identified the suspected shooter in last week’s homicide and are warning the public that he is believed to be armed and dangerous.

The suspect has been identified as Gabriel Miranda, 23.

The victim of the fatal shooting was identified by the police department as Simon White, 24, of Turlock.

White was killed in a drive-by shooting that occurred around 10:45 p.m. May 2 outside a home in the 100 block of Vermont Street.

Police were dispatched to the area after receiving multiple calls reporting shots fired. White was found inside the home and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses at the scene identified Miranda as the shooter, Turlock police spokesperson Mayra Lewis said. The gun used in the shooting has not been recovered and Miranda is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Few details about the shooting have been released because the investigation is ongoing and because there have been safety issues raised, according to the police department. It’s unknown what those safety concerns might be, but both the victim and the suspect in this case have had prior run-ins with law enforcement.

Miranda has had two arrests for driving under the influence — once in 2009 and again in 2010 — and currently has a bench warrant in Stanislaus County issued for those cases. In February he was arrested by the Livingston Police Department during their investigation into the shooting death of an 18-year-old man. Miranda was taken into custody on an unrelated warrant during the service of a search warrant at a vacant home, where he was hanging out with known Norteno gang members, who were the target of the Livingston homicide investigation.

Miranda has several tattoos, including the number one on his right hand and a large skull on his left shoulder.

White, a member of the Hells Angels, was one of five Turlock men arrested in November 2011 in what police officials described as a drug deal gone wrong.

That incident began in the 200 block of Alaska Street when several residents reported shots fired. As officers arrived they saw two vehicles speeding from the area. The first vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser, was stopped and inside the vehicle officers found three men, including White and 15 pounds of marijuana packaged for sale, according to the police report. The men told the police someone had just shot at them.

The second vehicle, a Chevrolet pickup, was found a short time later. The occupants had abandoned the vehicle, but inside officers found 55 pounds of marijuana and three firearms.

Detectives were able to locate the registered owner of the Chevrolet and placed him under arrest for robbery, possession of marijuana for sale and assault with a deadly weapon.

The occupants of the Toyota — including White — were arrested for possession of marijuana for sales and transportation.

Court records indicate White and the other suspects are being tried all together for possession of marijuana with intent to sell. The men had a pretrial hearing the morning of May 2. More than 12 hours later, White was gunned down.

White’s funeral service is Saturday at Turlock Memorial Park and is expected to draw a large contingency of motorcycle riders.

The Turlock Police Department is asking the community to use caution if they encounter Miranda.  If any member of the community has knowledge of Miranda’s whereabouts, they should call the police immediately.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Tim Redd at 668-5550 ext. 6625.

The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program.  Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward. 

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