2nd arrest made in 2018 fatal shooting in North Las Vegas

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A second man has been arrested in connection with a September 2018 fatal shooting in the northeast Las Vegas Valley that left a 24-year-old man dead, according to court records and an arrest warrant.

Jorge Gatica, 21, faces murder charges after police said he and his cousin William Gatica, 20, shot and killed Gerardo Baladran-Romero while driving next to the man near the 4200 block of White Cedar Road last year.

The 21-year-old was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on Friday, and William Gatica was booked into the jail on Nov. 25. Each is being held on $1,050,000 bail, court records show.

Police used location software on devices identified as the Gaticas’ to pin down the men, according to a North Las Vegas Police Department arrest warrant.

Though there were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, officers interviewed residents and determined that based on the speed of the rounds being fired, either multiple handguns were used, or a large-capacity magazine was in place. Baladran-Romero’s car was hit 33 times, police said.

Officers spoke to two people close to the victim, including a person who had a “volatile relationship” with the victim and had previously had Baladran-Romero arrested in connection with a 2017 stabbing, police said.

Officers also spoke to the mother of Baladran-Romero’s child. She said he was using meth again and couldn’t keep a job, the warrant said. She told officers of several people she suspected would want to harm him.

On the day of the shooting, the Gaticas went to the North Las Vegas police station, where William Gatica said his friend had been shot between 1:30 and 2 p.m., but the two men told hospital personnel at University Medical Center they didn’t want anyone prosecuted for the shooting.

Officers also found a private message group where William Gatica had posted pictures at 11 a.m. of the 30-round and 50-round magazines loaded for his Glock handgun, the warrant said. In that same group, another person who lived a half-block from where the victim was shot posted at 10:17 p.m., “I hella heard that,” to which William Gatica later replied a slang phrase meaning don’t tell anyone about my actions.

Officers previously had said multiple calls for the shooting came in at 10:20 p.m. The message group disbanded at 12:10 a.m. the following day after he told everyone that “we need a new group. The other ones burnt everyone should leave it.”

Both Gaticas are charged with open murder with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit murder and discharging a gun into an occupied vehicle. According to court records, William Gatica’s arraignment is scheduled for Monday, and jail records indicate Jorge Gatica is set to appear in court Tuesday.

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Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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