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September 22, 2023

Police arrest teen suspected in Watsonville homicide

WATSONVILLE—A teenager was arrested Thursday in the shooting death of a 19-year-old man Sept. 4 on Sudden Street.

Michelle Pulido, spokeswoman for Watsonville Police, said detectives worked through the week and were able to identify a 15-year-old male suspect connected to the fatal shooting.

On Thursday officers tracked down the suspect to Waters Alley, between Jefferson and Sudden streets, less than a block from where Adrian Ayala was shot multiple times. As officers attempted to arrest him, the suspect tossed a gun behind some garbage cans. A swarm of police, many with their guns out, captured the suspect and located the gun. 

The suspect has ties to a local gang and is currently facing several charges, including murder, possession of a firearm, gang enhancements, and probation violation, according to police. He was booked into Juvenile Hall.

“We would like to thank the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team (SCCACT) and the Santa Cruz County Auto Theft Reduction and Enforcement Task Force (SCARE) for working with us on making this arrest,” WPD said in a press release.

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.


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