Police believe the shooting death of a 22-year-old soldier was a random attack and Marlon Brumfield had no previous interaction with the two men suspected of conspiring to commit a felony.
Lompoc Police announced the break in the case Thursday, as they’ve arrested one of two suspects in the homicide that has left the entire community stunned.
Due to the active investigation, officials are keeping some details close to the vest but detectives say it took some time to develop information and put it all together.
“It’s a young life and it’s a terrible thing for this community to suffer and we’ve had too many of those this year,” said Captain Kevin Martin, Lompoc Police Department.
Police believe Brumfield was gunned down by two men with gang affiliations that he had never met before.
“Through the hard work of Lompoc Police investigators and detectives, we were able to establish these two suspects as being responsible for Mr. Brumfield’s death,” said Martin.
That lead investigators to Santa Maria, to try and locate 24-year-old Francisco GutierrezOrtega.
“The two departments together were able to successfully serve that warrant last night around 9:00 p.m. Unfortunately Mr. GutierrezOrtega was not there at the time the warrant was served, however, through the conversations that Sgt. Arias had with the family, we were able to convince them that it was probably in there son’s best interest to turn himself in. What he did to Santa Maria this morning,” said Martin.
Now, police are trying to track down 25-year-old Walter Morales Jr.
“We still have an outstanding suspect that we need to track down and ultimately, we’re hoping that the public will assist us with that. We’re doing everything we can with the resources we have but he’s outstanding and we would like to have that suspect in custody,” said Martin.
Captain Kevin Martin says police have possession of a vehicle involved that could shed even more light on the case.
“We are awaiting the California Highway Patrol’s forensic staff to be able to do a forensic exam of the vehicle and that will add some more evidence to the case,” said Martin.
GutierrezOrtega is in custody at the Lompoc City Jail on a no-bail warrant, as the community plans to come together for a march to honor Brumfield’s life on Friday.
“When we send our young soldiers out to protect our country, we don’t expect that they’re going to lose their lives within the protection of our own country and on our streets and I think ultimately, that’s why it has really affected the community the way Mr. Brumfield’s death has,” said Martin.
Brumfield’s loved ones tell us Thursday’s arrest was definitely some news they needed to hear.
Martin says anyone assisting Morales in evading arrest will be prosecuted.
The Lompoc Police Department has arrested one of two suspects wanted in connection to the shooting death of Marlon Brumfield.
On Thursday, Lompoc police announced the arrest of Francisco Gutierrez Ortega, 24, of Santa Maria.
Gutierrez Ortega turned himself into Santa Maria police Thursday morning following the service of a warrant at his home in Santa Maria Wednesday night. Gutierrez Ortega was not home at the time when the warrant was served but detectives were able to talk with family members and insist that he turn himself in.
Lompoc police took Gutierrez Ortega into custody Thursday and booked him into the Lompoc City Jail on a “no-bail” warrant for murder and conspiracy.A second suspect, identified as 25-year-old Walter Morales Jr. is still wanted by police.
He is described as a Hispanic male, standing 5-foot-4 and weighing about 140 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. He has multiple tattoos including the name Griselda on his neck, Morales on his back and LOMPOC on his right and left leg. He also has an 805 tattoo on his neck.
Anyone with information about Morales Jr.’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Lompoc Police Department.
Brumfield was shot and killed last weekend in Lompoc. He was visiting family while on leave from Germany.