Martinez rearrested in
stray bullet shooting
death of Norma Elizalde

April 07, 2014
Santa Paula News

Mark Martinez

By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula Times The 31-year-old Santa Paula man arrested and released last week in connection with the fatal shooting of an area woman hit by a stray bullet was rearrested Monday on suspicion of the crime.

According to SPPD Lt. Ish Cordero Mark Martinez was taken into custody without incident outside his Santa Paula home after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
Martinez is expected to again be charged with murder in the March 29 death of Norma Elizalde; Cordero said bail for Martinez has yet to be set.
Martinez was arrested last Tuesday, within days of Elizalde being hit by stray gunfire, but was released Thursday without charges being filed.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Chuck Hughes said at the time that Martinez’s release did not “exonerate” him in the crime but that further evidence had to be developed to be able to file charges.
“Since the initial arrest,” Cordero said investigators “obtained further information and evidence that we didn’t have at the time that links Martinez to the crime.
“He was picked up this morning as he was leaving his house by SPPD with assistance of the Ventura County District Attorney’s team,” standard protocol.
Martinez was taken to the SPPD Station and then transferred to Ventura County Main Jail.
“I’m sure Martinez expected this,” and Police Chief Steve McLean said there are more to come.
“We’ve still got several that we’re in the process of identifying and we will track them down... we’ll figure out who did what part but Martinez was there, he was involved in the incident,” that occurred at about 1 p.m. when two men in a passing vehicle confronted two others in the 1200 block of High Street.
The altercation ended when gunfire erupted; Elizalde was in back of her home in a carport when a bullet passed through her residence and struck her fatally in the neck.
Cordero said investigators are working closely with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office to build the case and identify other suspects but public help is still important.
“Tips are still coming in and we’re following up on all of them,” including those concerning other recent homicides, such as the March 15 discovery of the body of 21-year-old Ashley Moran, who was found in the morning stabbed and beaten to death in Obregon Park.
“People have been great in telling us things and anyone that has information let us know, that way we can solve all of them.
“We can’t solve these crimes,” said Cordero, “without the assistance of witnesses and the general public. And we’re still looking for the other three individuals that may be involved in this case.”
McLean had some advice for “These gang members who want to prove their manhood: quit smoking dope, put down their guns, get a job and go home and take care of their children.”
The married Elizalde had two sons and deep roots in the Santa Paula community, which reacted with shock and grief to the popular woman’s death.
What happened to Elizalde said Chief Deputy DA Hughes, “Really is the tragedy that everyone fears... there’s a fight and someone is caught in the crossfire. My heart goes out to the family and we will continue to work closely with the SPPD to get to the bottom of this.”
A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Life Way Baptist Church, 673 W. Santa Paula St. A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Wednesday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 427 N. Oak St.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Santa Paula Police Department, 525-4474.
If the caller would prefer to remain anonymous, they can call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-5691.
In addition, tips can be emailed to the SPPD at
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 a tip that leads to a felony arrest as confirmed by the arresting agency.

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