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Man who allegedly shot 13-year-old arrested

Posted: Thursday, Feb 27th, 2014

Joel Solorzano

WATSONVILLE — Watsonville Police on Wednesday arrested a man they believe shot a 13-year-old boy Feb. 14 as he walked through his neighborhood.

Joel Solorzano, 20, of Watsonville, was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail and charged with attempted murder. He also faces gang charges. He was being held in lieu of $400,000 bail.

Police responded to a report of a shooting on Loughead Street near the Pajaro River levee just before 8 p.m. They found the victim with a gunshot would to his face.

The victim told police he was approached by two males as he was walking to the store to buy food. One of the suspects took out a handgun and shot him once before leaving in a waiting vehicle.

The victim was flown to a Bay Area trauma center for treatment. After several surgeries, doctors told police that several bullet fragments can’t be removed, and that the victim will be fitted with a prosthetic eye.

After an investigation, investigators arrested at his residence on Coolidge Street. Police believe that the victim is not a gang member, but the shooting is considered gang-related because Solorzano is a documented gang member.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Watsonville Police Department Investigations Bureau at 768-3352 or the anonymous tip line at 768-3544.

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