Information sought in Dartmouth Rd. shooting

May 31, 2013
Santa Paula Police Department

Santa Paula Police are looking for suspects after an alleged area gang member was gunned down and died on a Dartmouth Road doorstep Monday evening.

According to Interim Police Chief Ishmael Cordero, Santa Paula Police responded to the 400 block of Dartmouth Road May 27 at about 8:55 p.m. when reports were received of multiple gunshots. “We got calls of shots fired, and the first officer on the scene found the deceased laying at the front door of a residence,” which Cordero said was not the victim’s own home.

Some area residents had reported hearing as many as 10 gunshots, and it was found that the victim, Ulises Bernardo Virto, 21, had been shot “multiple times,” said Cordero. He added it is believed the homicide is gang related. 

Detective Sergeant Wally Boggess said residents described a suspect vehicle leaving the area and responding officers pursued the car, observing that several guns were thrown from the windows during the chase.

One man exited the vehicle and ran away, but was captured and arrested by Officer Joash Rothermel at the scene. The identity of the 25-year-old suspect, a resident of Santa Paula, is being temporarily withheld pending the investigation. The suspect has not yet been charged with a crime. Officers found the empty vehicle several blocks away and recovered three weapons during the incident. 

Santa Paula Fire EMTs and AMR Paramedics responded to the scene and Virto, who lived close by on Acacia Road, was declared dead shortly after emergency responders arrived. Boggess said the victim had wounds “all over his body.... From what we can gather so far he [Virto] was alone” at the time of the shooting.

Boggess said more suspects are being sought. Virto, who reportedly graduated from a San Bernardino High School in 2010, was the father of a toddler daughter. 

Anyone with more information regarding the homicide can call Boggess at 525-4474 ext. 220. If the caller would prefer to remain anonymous, they can call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-4253-1-#.

Those with information can also call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). The caller may remain anonymous and the call is not recorded. Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website,   

Crime Stoppers will pay up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and criminal complaint against those responsible for crime.

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