SPPD: Suspect in party bus
drop-off shooting arrested Saturday

July 20, 2015
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula Police made an arrest Saturday after an early morning shooting left five men wounded…and the man taken into custody was one of those injured in the melee that occurred during a party bus drop-off.

One victim of the shooting that took place at about 2:47 a.m. July 18 is in critical but stable condition. 

Eric Medrano, 22, of Santa Paula, was arrested for suspicion of attempted murder Saturday at approximately 10 p.m.

According to SPPD Sgt. Cody Madison, “Medrano was one of the initial reported ’victims’ however through investigation he was determined to be a suspect,” and after he was medically cleared at the hospital he was transported to the SPPD Station for processing.

Medrano, who was on parole, was later transported to Ventura County Main Jail in Ventura; although bail was initially set at $500,000 an increase was requested that raised it to $1 million.

Since Medrano was also on active parole at the time of his arrest a no bail hold was also placed on him.

Police are looking for other suspects in the incident that occurred near the corner of Ojai-Santa Paula Street (Highway 150) and High Street when a party bus reportedly returning from Los Angeles dropped off a large group of up to 50 people.

Many, according to a witness, were intoxicated.

People started fighting — an altercation that SPPD Commander Ish Cordero said could have started on the bus — and witnesses said they heard 15 to 20 gunshots from what they believed was more than one shooter. When the shooting stopped the suspects took off in a vehicle.

All the men that were wounded are 20 to 35 years old.

Santa Paula Fire EMTs and ambulances also responded to the scene where people were screaming and crying including those according to a witness that were “hysterical…and getting in the way of the firemen and ambulance guys,” trying to treat the wounded.

Cordero said officers had to “restore order” at the scene that he described as “chaotic…”

Three others wounded had non-life threatening wounds; one man had a bullet graze his arm and he did not seek hospitalization. Two victims were taken by ambulance to Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura — where the most seriously injured victim remains — and a third was sent to Santa Paula Hospital. One shooting victim turned up at VCMC after being driven there in a private vehicle.

Cordero said the incident is believed to be gang related and is still being investigated.

As of Monday there were no additional arrests or “weapons recovered at this point.”

Cordero added, “There is a lot of work to do on this one…”

Medrano has been arrested numerous times in the past on weapons and gang related charges. 

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Detective Walter Harper at 525-4474, ext. 221.

If you would prefer to remain anonymous, call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-5691 or email tips to tipline@spcity.org

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477); the call is not recorded and the caller may remain anonymous.

Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). 

Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website, www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org

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