A manhunt for a suspected killer who California police say gunned down an Oakland mother of four on a weekend grocery run ended Wednesday night 100 miles away when a SWAT team descended on a home near Sacramento and arrested a suspect, police said.
The suspect, identified by investigators as Carl Stephen Dubose, was nabbed in Elk Grove at about 5 p.m. Wednesday after agents surrounded a home there. Local reports said he had barricaded himself in the home before surrendering, while other accounts said he turned himself in without incident.
Dubose, 20, of Oakland, is accused of shooting Perla Avina, a 30-year-old mother of four, in the face as she sat in the passenger seat as her husband drove home from a Sunday trip to the supermarket. Avina’s husband, Luis Lopez Gallegos, told the Oakland Tribune that the suspect didn’t like the way he drove and fired shots into the couple’s car without provocation. Gallegos made it to their home, where he shouted to a neighbor to call for an ambulance, but Avina, a medical receptionist, died before help could arrive.
The killing had been described as a road-rage shooting, but Oakland Police Det. Leo Sanchez said at a news conference Thursday there were other factors involved. He did not elaborate. Police recovered a 2001 Volvo registered to Dubose and the gun he allegedly used in the shooting.
“He was a coward with a gun,” Gallegos told the Tribune two days after his wife was killed. “A young guy with a gun who doesn’t care about life. I wish I would have been the one who was shot.”
Avina had planned to cook pozole — a spicy stew — for her husband, three sons and daughter, a family tradition before watching the Oakland Raiders football games. The shocking murder, which occurred just after noon on a city street, touched off a four-day manhunt during which police offered a $30,000 reward for information leading to the killer's capture and conviction.
Video surveillance, community tips and help from the media lead investigators to Dubose, Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent said.
"It is our collective outrage and willingness to come together and collaborate with the community ... that led to an arrest in this case," Whent said.
Local reports indicated that the SWAT team set up a perimeter before arresting Dubose and another man. A woman and a child were also inside the home at the time, News10.com reported.
The second man taken into custody was reportedly released a short time later and told News10 that he lives in the home where Dubose was found. He characterized Dubose as a family friend.
A co-worker at the Emeryville medical clinic where Avina began working eight years ago told KTVU Avina was a loving mom and a positive presence who brought smiles wherever she went.
"A shining spirit," said Avina's manager, Darlene Cederborg. "Always positive, always had a smile on her face."
An online fundraiser set up to help Gallegos, an auto mechanic, bury his wife and care for their children — a 14-year-old son and three daughters, ages 1, 4 and 8 — had collected more than $35,000 as of Thursday.
FoxNews.com's Joshua Rhett Miller contributed to this report.