Police scour field near Gilroy councilwoman's home, site of deadly shooting
GILROY, Calif. - A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with a fatal shooting at a Gilroy city councilmember’s home, where one person died and three other people were injured at what neighbors described as a Halloween party, authorities said Sunday.
Benjamin David Calderon was taken into custody Saturday afternoon by a SWAT team after the late-night shooting in the 400 block of Las Animas. Police were called after violence broke out during a large outdoor party at the home of Gilroy City Councilmember Rebeca Armendariz. It's unclear if she was home at the time.
At least one suspect fired a gun, authorities said. It was not immediately clear if Calderon had an attorney who could speak on his behalf. His mother declined to comment to KTVU on Sunday.
One man was pronounced dead of his gunshot wounds at the scene and three others were injured. Two of them were believed to have life-threatening wounds, but there was no update on their conditions Sunday afternoon. The victims’ ages range from 17 to 19 years, authorities said.
"Some type of altercation ensued between the last goers and at least one suspect produced a firearm and started shooting," said Lamonte Toney with the Gilroy Police Department.
On Sunday, investigators spent part of the afternoon searching through a large field near where the councilwoman lives, but they wouldn't say what they were looking for. It's unknown if Armendariz was home when the shots were fired.
Armendariz said in a statement on Saturday that she was unable to share details because of the active police investigation. She said in the statement that she and her family are cooperating with police.
"I am thankful that my family and I ... were not hurt in this tragedy, and I pray for those whose loved ones have been touched by what has occurred," she said.
The victims’ names were not immediately made public, nor has a motive been disclosed.
A man who didn't want to be identified says he works across the street from the shooting and wasn't surprised by what happened.
He spoke in general terms about the area.
"It's kind of like there's always something," he said. "There's a late night fight or there are issues where the police need to be called out there's some type of assault or garbage being dumped or cars parked illegally, there's always sketchy stuff that's kind of going on around here."
The councilwoman is a fourth generation Gilroyan, elected to the council in 2020 and has reportedly spent years advocating for working class families.