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Second suspect arrested in connection to October homicide at Salinas Motel 6

motel 6 murder salinas
Salinas Police

SALINAS, Calif. (KION)

UPDATE 6/18/2020 5 p.m. Salinas police have arrested a second suspect in connection to the murder of Armando Medina in October of last year.

Previously, they arrested 32-year-old Justin Bravo in Castroville.

Police said 21-year-old Edgar Tapia was a person of interest in the murder, but were able to find probable cause showing that he worked with the other suspect to shoot and kill Medina during the investigation.

Tapia was already booked into the Monterey County Jail for an unrelated case, but now he is charged with homicide and burglary.

Medina was killed on Oct. 1 at the Motel 6 on De La Torre Boulevard. He was found dead in a stairwell.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Justin Heckman at 831-758-7323 or justinh@ci.salinas.ca.us.

Edgar Tapia

PREVIOUS STORY: A suspect has been arrested in connection to a shooting that killed one person at a Motel 6 in Salinas.

The suspect, 32-year-old Justin Bravo, was arrested in Castroville Friday.

Early in the morning on Oct. 1, 2019, Salinas police responded to a report of a shooting at the Motel 6 on De La Torre Boulevard and found Armando Medina dead in a stairwell. They said he had been renting a room nearby, but nobody was inside when officers went in, and the door was open.

Investigators found a loaded semi-automatic pistol next to Medina, and they believed at the time that it was not the weapon used to kill him. It was later confirmed that it was not the weapon used.

A blood trail was found leading to the area where a suspect vehicle had been parked, so detectives sent the blood samples to the Department of Justice lab for testing. Police said Bravo was a positive match, and other evidence suggested that he was a suspect.

On Friday, Salinas detectives, SWAT and others surrounded Bravo's Castroville home to serve the homicide arrest warrant. They said several people came out and were detained, but Bravo went to the door and began yelling at officers and demanding that they stay away.

SWAT officers said they tried to reason with Bravo, but he got agitated, so they used two foam less-lethal rounds and a police K-9. After that, they were able to arrest Bravo, who was taken to a hospital for treatment.

During the search, police said detectives found a shotgun with a sawed-off buttstock, a .22 caliber handgun, ammunition and signs of gang membership. They said Bravo also said he was at the scene during questioning, but said he did not remember what happened because of drug use.

Bravo was booked into the Monterey County Jail on a murder charge.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Justin Heckman at 831-758-7323 or justinh@ci.salinas.ca.us.

Crime / Monterey County / Salinas / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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