Man arrested after deadly shooting at Lodi fruit-packing plant, San Joaquin sheriff says

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A 41-year-old man is accused of shooting and killing a man at a Lodi fruit-packing plant, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said. Gabriel Hernandez was arrested on charges related to murder, felony possession of a firearm and breaking a policy prohibiting street gang members from owning or possessing ammunition, the sheriff’s office said.The late Monday night shooting at the Rivermaid Trading Company on East Pine Street left 27-year-old Jorge Cortes Bejar of Stockton dead with multiple gunshot wounds at the scene.On Tuesday, night around 11:05 p.m., the sheriff’s office said it learned that an officer with the Manteca Police Department spotted a vehicle linked to Hernandez near Louise Avenue and Airport Road in Manteca. The officer followed the vehicle with the knowledge that the driver, later identified as Hernandez, was likely armed and dangerous.The sheriff’s office said when backup arrived, the officers tried stopping the vehicle on Walnut Road north of Yosemite Avenue. At first, Hernandez followed commands but then he got out of the vehicle and ran away.With the help of Manteca police setting up a perimeter and a helicopter from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, San Joaquin deputies also went to the area and eventually found Hernandez. They also found a firearm, but whether it was the same one used in the Lodi shooting was not specified.Details on a motive, what led to the shooting and if the two knew each other were not released. The sheriff’s office said detectives believe the shooting was isolated.Officials as of Wednesday have yet to confirm if Bejar was an employee at the fruit-packing plant, only that he was “at work” at the time of the shooting. An attorney representing Rivermaid also would not clarify if Bejar was an employee. The attorney instead sent this statement: “The safety of Rivermaid Trading Company’s employees and the security of its facilities are of the utmost importance to the Company. Rivermaid Trading Company is continuing to investigate the incident and is fully cooperating with law enforcement. Our attention is focused on the investigation. Since there is an ongoing investigation, I cannot comment on any details at this time.”According to the company’s website, cherries and pears are packed at the Lodi facility.| MORE LIKE THIS | Residents, businesses startled by deadly shootingSee more coverage of top California stories here | Download our app.

A 41-year-old man is accused of shooting and killing a man at a Lodi fruit-packing plant, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said.

Gabriel Hernandez was arrested on charges related to murder, felony possession of a firearm and breaking a policy prohibiting street gang members from owning or possessing ammunition, the sheriff’s office said.

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The late Monday night shooting at the Rivermaid Trading Company on East Pine Street left 27-year-old Jorge Cortes Bejar of Stockton dead with multiple gunshot wounds at the scene.

On Tuesday, night around 11:05 p.m., the sheriff’s office said it learned that an officer with the Manteca Police Department spotted a vehicle linked to Hernandez near Louise Avenue and Airport Road in Manteca. The officer followed the vehicle with the knowledge that the driver, later identified as Hernandez, was likely armed and dangerous.

The sheriff’s office said when backup arrived, the officers tried stopping the vehicle on Walnut Road north of Yosemite Avenue. At first, Hernandez followed commands but then he got out of the vehicle and ran away.

With the help of Manteca police setting up a perimeter and a helicopter from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, San Joaquin deputies also went to the area and eventually found Hernandez. They also found a firearm, but whether it was the same one used in the Lodi shooting was not specified.

Details on a motive, what led to the shooting and if the two knew each other were not released. The sheriff’s office said detectives believe the shooting was isolated.

Officials as of Wednesday have yet to confirm if Bejar was an employee at the fruit-packing plant, only that he was “at work” at the time of the shooting.

An attorney representing Rivermaid also would not clarify if Bejar was an employee. The attorney instead sent this statement:

“The safety of Rivermaid Trading Company’s employees and the security of its facilities are of the utmost importance to the Company. Rivermaid Trading Company is continuing to investigate the incident and is fully cooperating with law enforcement. Our attention is focused on the investigation. Since there is an ongoing investigation, I cannot comment on any details at this time.”

According to the company’s website, cherries and pears are packed at the Lodi facility.

| MORE LIKE THIS | Residents, businesses startled by deadly shooting

See more coverage of top California stories here | Download our app.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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