A Watsonville man who narrowly missed being injured by a shotgun blast trailed his attackers while calling police, setting up officers to arrest the two men suspected in the shooting late Saturday, Watsonville police reported.
Juan Manuel Figueroa, 22, and Adrian Bradley Castillo, 40, were arrested in a rural area north of Watsonville shortly after the gang-motivated attack when Watsonville police and sheriff's deputies stopped their white minivan at gunpoint, police reported. Officers seized a loaded pistol-grip shotgun, a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a spent shotgun shell from their van. Cops also reportedly found a loaded semi-automatic pistol magazine in the driver's pocket and a shotgun shell in the passenger's pocket.
The shooting happened around 11:35 p.m. when the victim, a 40-year-old man, was in his vehicle at 501 S. Green Valley Rd. and the shooters' white minivan drove up. One man inside the van leveled a shotgun at the victim and fired once, police said.
The pellets from the shotgun peppered the driver's side windshield of the man's vehicle, but missed him, police said.
From there, the victim followed the minivan while calling 911. The van headed north on Highway 1. Sheriff's deputy Daniel Robbins spotted it on Buena Vista Drive near Bowker Road and, as it passed Calabasas Road, three Watsonville cops and two more deputies were involved in the chase. They stopped the van at Buena Vista Drive and Miller Road, police reported.
Castillo and Figueroa were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, gang participation, conspiracy and being felons with guns. They were booked into County Jail, police reported.
After the arrests, Watsonville police brass praised the deputies for their "swift response and unselfish assistance in this case."
"We have enjoyed a great working relationship with them over the years and it is through our partnership that these types of cases are solved successfully," Watsonville Police Sgt. Eric Taylor wrote in a press release.