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The two people killed at their Fowler home on Saturday, June 13th, have been identified as 42 year old Rafael Garcia and his 16 year old son, Jonathan Garcia.

The man who shot and killed both of them is 25 year old Carlos “Charles” Cruz of Parlier.  Cruz is also deceased.  During an autopsy, Cruz was found to have a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Around 5:00 pm on Saturday, Fowler Police received a report of gunshots at a home on the 200 block of N. 5th Street in Fowler.  Officers arrived and found two men, Rafael Garcia and Jonathan Garcia, suffering from gunshot wounds.  Both died at the house.  Officers developed information that Carlos “Charles” Cruz was responsible for killing them.  Fowler PD notified surrounding law enforcement agencies of the suspect’s name and vehicle so they could be on the lookout for him.  Fowler Police also contacted the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and requested its Homicide Unit take over the investigation.  Detectives accepted and responded to the scene.

Shortly after 5:30 pm, Reedley Police officers saw a black Subaru matching the one Cruz may be driving and they attempted to make a traffic stop.  The driver, later determined to be Cruz, refused to pull over and lead officers on a pursuit.  Cruz fled westbound, in the eastbound lanes of Manning Avenue at a high rate of speed.  Around 5:45 pm, officers came to the intersection of Manning and De Wolf and saw that the Subaru had crashed into a train passing through the area.  Cruz had collided with the third engine located close to the front of the train.  First responders found Cruz to be deceased inside the car with what appeared to be a gunshot wound.  Detectives recovered a handgun at the crash site.

A preliminary investigation shows that on June 13th, Cruz went to the home in Fowler where his estranged wife was visiting.  After spending several hours there, a disturbance took place which resulted in Cruz shooting and killing her relatives, Rafael and Jonathan Garcia.  He then fled the house.

Cruz was arrested on May 15, 2020 on for domestic violence and three other charges.  Those three charges were eligible for zero dollar bail, leaving him with a bail amount of $25,000.  Cruz posted bond and was released from jail later that same day.  

This remains an ongoing investigation as detectives await the results of ballistics and toxicology tests.

Anyone with additional information about anyone involved in this case is asked to please contact the Sheriff’s Detective Jose Diaz at (559) 600-8204 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867, www.valleycrimestoppers.org  You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Carlos Cruz (Booking Photo May 2020)

Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137
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