Somerton police have arrested one suspect and are searching for his brother in connection to a series of three drive-by shootings that happened minutes apart on Friday night, one of which left a woman injured from shattered glass from a windshield struck by gunfire.
Interim Chief of Police Araceli Juarez confirmed the arrest of 26-year-old Eduardo Romero-Gonzalez Tuesday morning during a press conference held at the Somerton Police Department, adding that a they have yet to apprehend his brother Gerardo Aaron Romero-Gonzalez, 22, who is also considered a suspect.
"The information we have so far is that he has fled to Mexico, but that may be inaccurate," Juarez said.
Gonzalez, who is a known gang member, was taken into custody Monday afternoon when officers from the Somerton Police Department executed a search warrant at a residence located at 821 S. Columbia Avenue.
"At this time in our investigation we have concluded that we have probable cause to take him into custody," Juarez said.
The United States Marshalls, Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Cocopah Tribal Police, and Somerton Animal Control units also assisted with the service of the warrant.
Gerardo Romero-Gonzalez is described as a Hispanic male, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 190 pounds, with brown hair and black eyes.
Eduardo Gonzalez made his initial appearance in South County Justice Court, where he was informed he was being held on charges of attempted 1st-degree murder, endangerment, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a weapon at an occupied structure, all of which are felonies.
He will return to court on Thursday for his arraignment, at which time he will be informed if a criminal complaint has been filed against him and what, if any, crimes, he is being charged with.
Chief Juarez also said that most of the victims in the shootings were randomly chosen, but police believe at least one of them was specifically targeted. She added that Friday's drive-by shootings may be related to a shooting that happened the week before in the in the 100 block of S. Joshua.
She went on to say that there were two other individuals in the car with the Gonzalez brothers who have yet to be identified and are possibly suspects as well.
City Manager Ian McGaughey also addressed the media during the press conference, saying excellent teamwork between Somerton police and the other law enforcement agencies led to the suspect in this case being identified and taken into custody.
The numerous 911 calls Somerton police received that night, he added, provided us leads to the suspect and suspect vehicle.
McGaughey thanked Somerton police, the community and the other law enforcement for their help in arresting the individuals.
"There is still more work to do. The investigation continues. We did it with corroboration, We got a lot of help," McGaughey said. "We worked together to get the leads to break this case. We got an excellent description of the vehicle which helped lead to this arrest."
According to Somerton police, the first incident happened at approximately 10:17 p.m. when officers were dispatched to the 100 block of East Cano Street for reports of shots being fired in the area behind a Circle K convenience store.
Officers were also dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of East Spring Street at 10:19 p.m. in response to a woman reporting that her house had been shot at several times.
The third and final shooting was reported at approximately 10:29 p.m. when a woman called from her residence saying that her vehicle was shot while she had been traveling north on Somerton Avenue, across from Somerton Middle School.
The female driver was injured in her face, neck and arm from glass shattering from the bullet impact on the windshield.
Anyone with information about any of the incidents is urged to call the Somerton Police Department at 928-627-2011 or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.