A Santa Maria man has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of an active-duty Army serviceman in Lompoc earlier this month and police are still searching for another suspect believed to be involved.
Francisco Gutierrez-Ortega, 25, turned himself in to the Santa Maria Police Department Thursday morning, which had been assisting Lompoc police in its investigation. Authorities are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Walter Alexander Morales Jr., 24, according to a news release from the Lompoc Police Department.
At approximately 1:53 a.m. Sept. 8, Lompoc police responded to the intersection of Ocean Avenue and A Street on a report of a shooting. Officers found Marlon Brumfield, 22, of Lompoc, lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. Authorities attempted life-saving measures but were unsuccessful. Mr. Brumfield was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Marlon was an active Army military member and was on leave from Germany for the month visiting home when he was killed walking down the street,” police said following the shooting.
At approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday, the Santa Maria Police Department assisted the Lompoc Police Department in the service of an arrest warrant at a residence associated with Mr. Gutierrez-Ortega, 24, who was previously identified as a suspect in the shooting, according to authorities.
He was not home when the warrant was served and detectives spoke with his family and urged them to have Mr. Gutierrez-Ortega turn himself in.
At 8 a.m. Thursday, Lompoc detectives received a call from Santa Maria police that Mr. Gutierrez-Ortega had turned himself in. He was booked into the Lompoc City Jail on suspicion of murder and conspiracy. He is being held on a no bail a warrant, police said.
Mr. Morales Jr. is described as a Latino who is 5-feet, 4 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds He has black hair and brown eyes and has multiple tattoos, including on his neck, arms, legs, back.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call police at 805-736-2341. Police will seek prosecution on any person found to be aiding and abetting Mr. Morales.