A suspect murdered the woman he was allegedly stalking months after being released from jail, police said.
Around 9 p.m. on March 8, police in Turlock were responding to a shooting and told to be watching for a light-colored sedan allegedly involved in the incident. Officers spotted the vehicle, but the driver fled.
Officers gave chase and the driver crashed into a fence and then ran from the scene, according to Turlock police.
That driver was later identified as Juan Francisco Ibarra-Tapia, police said.
Officers went to the shooting scene and found 22-year-old Zobeyda Esquerra with multiple gunshot wounds, according to Turlock police. Authorities tried to give her aid, but she later died at the hospital.
A search continued and an officer found Ibarra-Tapia hiding on a nearby block. He was then arrested.
Investigators said Ibarra-Tapia knew Esquerra and had previously been arrested for stalking her, according to Turlock police. He was charged in October 2021 and posted bail on those charges.
Ibarra-Tapia also shot at two employees during an incident at an O’Reilly Auto Parts, but nobody was hurt in that shooting, Turlock police noted.
After his arrest in connection to Esquerra’s death, Ibarra-Tapia was charged with homicide, two counts of attempted homicide, two counts of discharging a firearm in the commission of a felony and one count of evading. He is being held without bail.
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