A Los Banos man was arrested Wednesday on the suspicion that he fatally shot an off-duty security guard at a downtown Turlock bar in January.
Turlock Police detectives believe Alejandro Rosales Ortuno, 23, of Los Banos was the gunman who killed Turlock resident Robert Morgan, 31, outside the downtown bar Cru.
Morgan was a security guard at Cru, but was there off-duty spending time with friends on Jan. 15.
Earlier in the evening, security at the bar had escorted out several Hispanic men involved in an altercation. A fight broke out behind the bar, at which point Morgan got involved, according to the Turlock Police Department.
Morgan was reportedly in a physical altercation with another man near the rear of The Udder Place, which is located just a few doors down from Cru. During this time an unidentified occupant of a dark colored sedan stopped, got out, and fired multiple gunshots at Morgan.
The shooter then got back into the vehicle and fled the area.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found Morgan with multiple gunshot wounds. The officers immediately undertook life-saving measures until emergency medical personnel arrived and rushed Morgan to a hospital. Morgan died at 2:16 a.m. from his injuries, according to the police department.
The investigation into the killing led to Ortuno being identified as the likely shooter. On Wednesday, the Special Investigation Unit went to Los Banos and watched a residence linked to Ortuno. They saw him drive away from the home and with the help of the Los Banos Police Department a traffic enforcement stop was made. Ortuno was taken into custody without incident in the 1200 block of West I Street, and was transported from Los Banos to the Turlock Police Department for an interview.
In connection to the homicide investigation, search warrants were served by the Merced County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team at two Los Banos residences, located in the 200 block of Wisteria Avenue and the 2300 block of Rock Creek Drive. Once both residences were secured by the SWAT team, Turlock Police Detectives and SIU Investigators searched both residences for evidence tied to the investigation.
Ortuno has been booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on a no-bail homicide warrant and remains in custody.
“Our sympathy goes out to the victim’s family, and we hope the arrest of Ortuno starts to bring some sense of closure as they continue to mourn the loss of Robert,” said Turlock Police Detective Raul Garcia.
Morgan’s death followed a separate deadly shooting that happened the night prior in the same downtown vicinity. In that incident, Romeo Portillo, 21, of Patterson was shot and killed. There have not been any arrests in that case.
“I’m proud of the work our investigative teams put into this investigation,” said Turlock Police Sgt. Victor Barcelos of the investigation into Morgan’s death. “Our team is continuing to work on this investigation, and other recent crimes, to bring those responsible to justice.”
The Turlock Police Department asks that anyone with information about this investigation to call Detective Raul Garcia at (209) 664-7314. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at email@example.com.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.