Murder suspect apprehended

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Murder suspect apprehendedFive days after the victim of a shooting succumbed to his wounds, Ridgecrest Police Department detectives and officers apprehended the suspect, who had fled the scene of the crime.

Shortly after midnight on Aug. 22, police responded to a report of shots fired near the corner of Gold Canyon Avenue and Robalo Street. Upon their arrival, they discovered 19-year-old Danny Avalos suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Avalos was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, then later to Kern Medical Center, where he died at 3:05 that morning.

RPD patrolled the neighborhood, and staged an officer at the nearby Pierce Elementary School as a precaution, but determined that there was no apparent threat to the public. Sgt. Daniel Armogida posted a video — shared and viewed thousands of times on social media — asking for the community’s assistance in identifying the suspect.

On Wednesday, Aug. 28, Capt. Ryan Marrone released a video notifying the public that the suspect and an alleged accomplice had been arrested.

During the days that followed the shooting, RPD detectives and patrol officers continued to explore leads in their investigation, which ultimately led them to 24-year-old Ismael Octavio Quijano Jr.

“A traffic stop was conducted by RPD detectives and police officers in California City,” said Marrono. “During the traffic stop, they arrested the homicide suspect without incident.”

The vehicle in that stop was driven by 43-year-old Ahidee Barragan, who was also taken into custody.

“She had knowledge he was the primary suspect in this case and appeared to be assisting him in evading capture,” said the RPD report.

Quijano is facing murder charges, with Barragan facing accessory charges.

Although the nature of the confrontation between Avalos and Quijano is unknown, both have criminal records. Avalos has been arrested and prosecuted and has served time four times since last August on charges ranging from grand theft to exhibiting a deadly weapon to drug possession. Quijano has been arrested seven times, and convicted and jailed for charges relating to drug possession and burglary.

“We would like to thank everyone in the public who was able to assist us with the investigation, and we look forward to continuing this relationship with the community,” said Marrone.

Pictured: Suspect Ismael Octavio Quijano, Jr.

Story First Published: 2019-08-30