New developments have evolved in the fatal shooting that occurred Friday, Dec. 10 on the Oakdale Waterford Highway, near Milnes Road, following what was originally believed to be a botched home invasion in Hickman, causing investigators to suspect the attack was motivated by drugs.
Six Mexican National males suspected of affiliations with the Sureño street gang, Jose Antonio Ambriz-Lopez, 21, Gumaro Lizarraga, 27, Antioco Ambriz, 52, Carlos Colin, 43, Edgardo Ambriz, 19, and Marcelino Solorio, 42, rolled up to the Hickman address on Merriam Road shortly after the wife of the victim returned from taking her young children to the bus stop. Investigators are unsure who started firing first but gunfire erupted and Antonio Ambriz-Lopez took a bullet to the chest, and Lizarraga was shot in the groin.
The six took off in a Nissan that had been struck by multiple gunshots but only got as far as Milnes Road before the car overheated.
One of the men flagged down a passing motorist, Waterford resident Shaun Barlow, as he was on his way to work in Stockton.
“I was following behind this car and it was smoking pretty bad,” Barlow said, saying there were several bullet holes in the windshield and the hood of the vehicle. “The driver jumped out and flagged me down, saying, ‘Help me, amigo!’ ” as he pulled Jose Antonio Ambriz-Lopez from the car.
Barlow said the driver tried to compel him to put the injured man in his car to take him to the hospital but Barlow, who had some first aid training, laid the man on the ground to check for a pulse.
“He was totally unresponsive,” Barlow said. “As soon as I saw his eyes I knew he was gone,” Barlow said.
By the time emergency crews arrived, several of the suspects had fled. Jose Antonio Ambriz-Lopez had died, and Lizarraga was taken to the hospital where he remains in stable condition.
Those who fled the scene were located after an extensive search, with the help of the Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit and an assist from air patrol.
According to investigators, the attack was motivated by the rumor that the victim had 200 pounds of marijuana on his property.
Two pounds of marijuana were found in the Nissan and the Hickman man — whom federal investigators have said is “deportable” — admitted to disposing of five pounds of marijuana before calling authorities to report the incident.
Originally, the suspects had given officers fake names but officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) helped identify the Mexican Nationals, all of whom are facing charges of attempted home invasion robbery and murder due to the fact that an accomplice was killed while during the commission of a felony.
According to Sheriff reports, detectives suspect due to the amount of packaging material and the quantity of marijuana in the Merriam Road residence, that the resident was selling the drug.
Detectives are also investigating whether this incident has any ties to the Mexican drug cartel.