TURLOCK (CBS13) — The man accused of killing a young woman in Turlock Tuesday night was arrested for stalking her last October but was released on bail, according to police.
Zobeyda Esquerra, 22, died at a local hospital after she was shot in the parking of O’Reilly Auto Shop on Geer Road and Wayside Drive in Turlock. The suspect, Juan Francisco Ibarra-Tapia, 22, was arrested and faces charges in her death.READ MORE: Stagg High Stabbing Suspect Anthony Gray Ordered To Undergo Mental Evaluation
Esquerra was at the auto shop to pick-up her boyfriend who worked at the Turlock location, according to employees on shift Wednesday afternoon. She was parked waiting for him to get off work when Ibarra-Tapia began shooting. Employees told CBS13 after he shot Esquerra, he shot at her boyfriend and another employee.
Turlock police say Ibarra-Tapia did shoot at two people who were inside, and a front window of the auto shop was still shattered Wednesday afternoon. Glass from a car window was also still visible in the parking lot, where employees told CBS13 Esquerra was parked.
After the shooting, a Turlock police officer nearby saw a light colored sedan leave the scene quickly. The car, driven by Ibarra-Tapia, crashed into a residential fence near North Quincy Road.
The homeowners told CBS13 they were asleep at the time but woke up to police in their front yard and the light-colored Sedan through their fence. It was still running, doors open — but Ibarra-Tapia was already gone.
“What do you mean there’s a car in the fence?” said Paula Crawford, the homeowner.
Crawford said it’s all cosmetic damages: tire tracks in the lawn, a broken fence, and a flowerbed destroyed. She said, based on the assumed speed and trajectory where his car landed, she was relieved the vehicle didn’t crash into her garage or home. The homeowners were not injured.READ MORE: Boosted Californians Getting COVID At Twice The Rate Of Those Vaccinated But Not Boosted
Police say Ibarra-Tapia took-off after the crash through yards and over fences. During the search, neighbors were notified to shelter in place. Turlock police used “Nixle” alerts to notify residents through email and text they should shelter in place.
Turlock police were notified of Ibarra-Tapia’s location when a neighbor called 911 when they saw the suspect in their yard near Estates Drive.
“Domestic violence is something we take very seriously,” said Turlock Chief of Police Jason Hedden, “Zoe was ripped apart from her family at the tender age of 22, it’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for the community that something like this could happen here.”
Turlock police actively searched Ibarra-Tapia’s home in Livingston Wednesday afternoon. In the investigation, it was found Ibarra-Tapia was arrested in Merced County for stalking Esquerra in October 2021. He was released on bail. It’s not clear the status of those charges as of Wednesday.
Turlock police confirmed the incident was not a random act of violence.
Ibarra-Tapia is in the Stanislaus County jail facing multiple felonies that includes one count of homicide, two counts of attempt homicide, two counts of discharging a firearm in the commission of a felony, and one count of evading. He is being held without bail.
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family, and we hope the arrest of the suspect brings some sense of closure as they mourn the loss of Zoe,” Detective Gina Giovacchini said in a statement.MORE NEWS: Applications Now Open For $10K Grants For Sacramento Artists
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gina Giovacchini at (209) 668-6539. Callers can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.