Arrest made in Mountain View murder case

San Jose youth charged in Feb. 26 shooting in Higdon Avenue

Police have announced an arrest in the murder of Jose Merales, 17, gunned down on Higdon Avenue in Mountain View late last month.

San Jose resident Hugo Garcia, 19, is charged with shooting Merales on Feb. 26 near his Mountain View home. Although a $10,000 reward had been offered in the case, investigators made the arrest without any outside help, according to police spokesperson Liz Wylie.

Police had been working "around the clock" to develop leads, and have physical evidence linking him to the site, said Wylie. When police asked Garcia to come to police the station for questioning, he complied.

"He wasn't here to turn himself in," Wylie said. "He came here on his own accord. When he was here, at some point we developed enough evidence to place him under arrest."

Merales was found dead Feb. 26 on the sidewalk of the 100 block of Higdon Avenue near Villa Street, a few buildings away from his own apartment building. Neighbors said they heard several shots at 6:15 that evening.

The arrest comes less than a day after police announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to arrests for the murder. No witnesses had come forward, however, before police apprehended Garcia, and no one will claim the reward.

A motive for the murder has not been established. Police are not sure if Garcia is a gang member or what he was doing in Mountain View the day of the shooting.

Even though Merales allegedly was affiliated with the Surenos, "This particular crime doesn't appear to be motivated" by gang activity, Wylie said.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Great job Mountain View P.D.!

Like this comment
Posted by jbunniii
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Great to see this filth cleared off the street!

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