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September 25, 2023

Man shot, killed during fight in Watsonville

Marks city's first homicide of 2023

WATSONVILLE—A man was killed after he was shot late Sunday night during a struggle with another man on Sunny Hills Drive at Herman Court.

Watsonville Police Sgt. Charles Bailey said police got reports of gunfire following a fight between at least two men in a parking area of a residential neighborhood.

The 39-year-old victim was rushed to Watsonville Community Hospital by family members, said WPD spokeswoman Michelle Pulido. He was then flown by CALSTAR air ambulance to an out-of-county trauma center.

Police masked out a wide swatch of the parking lot with yellow crime scene tape and recovered at least one shell casing.

Pulido said the shooting marked the first homicide of the year for Watsonville.

As of Monday afternoon no suspect had been rounded up, Pulido said.

The incident is still under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Juan Castillo at 889.8414 or 768.3358.

sunny hills drive watsonville police
Watsonville Police search for clues Sunday night on Sunny Hills Drive after a man was shot during a fight around 8pm. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian
Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


  1. if you saw or heard anything related to this incident, do your community a favor and SNITCH !!!!
    we do not accept people who kill. and guns are used for no other purpose other than to kill.

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  2. What an inappropriate comment from ST once again. Using the word ‘snitch’ illustrates how unsuited this man is for any sort of public office role, including trustee. It is a derogatory word. The oldest meaning of the informal snitch is “to betray” or, as a noun, “informer.”

    He then writes ‘we’ do not accept people who kill? Another moronic, meaningless comment. What about the military or the police? You don’t accept them? Their job description includes the potential to use deadly force.

    And of course, he does not capitalize the first word in each sentence, beginning the 3rd sentence it is lower case “and”, followed by another ridiculous comment that guns are used to kill, No kidding. Wow, where would we be without the pearls of wisdom from this wannabe, self absorbed ‘leader’. He is an embarrassment to the Cabrillo English Department, and Watsonville in general.

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    • Frivolous comment, you trolls are like little sniveling school children picking on anything to take the other down “your shirts wrinkled, you have something on your face, blah blah blah”

      Do you understand the spirit of his comment? There is no room for murderers in our community.

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      • the spiriti of the comment is : DO THE RIGHT THING. if you heard or saw something: tell the WPD. thank you, C . Johnson. ignore the fool who won’t use his real name. most people do.
        and the same person has never written a book , school curriculum, done scholarly articles for his profession or a master’s degree thesis. I have.

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        • If do the right thing was the message, you should have used those words. Nope, snitch was the word of choice, and all caps at that. It was clearly gang related so ‘snitch’ only makes it more dangerous for the informant.

          And again of course you make it about yourself, touting your supposed accomplishments just like George Santos, or should we call you Kitara Ravache? You claim to have written a book, but you will not name it. Hmmm wonder why?

          You should also learn how to punctuate a sentence. Oh and C Johnson has perfectly described ST (that’s a real name, yet you don’t whine about it?). Steve is a little sniveling school boy using juvenal nick names and accusing anyone who does not agree with him as a right wing bigot. Read some of his prior comments. He is a fool’s fool.

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          • yes, I chose the word “snitch”, as there are some in the community who feel that telling ANY information to the WPD is a dishonor. I do NOT share that view, so I ask those who feel that telling info , based on fact, is honorable behavior on the part of the well being of the community.
            what is a useless troll . his absurd ramblings are of no use to the Pajaronian reading audience, other than absurdist entertainment. the first amendment gives him the right. and it gives me the right to correct him, as i so often do.

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