Oakley resident David Vargas, 21, was arrested by detectives early Sunday morning on charges of homicide, assault with a firearm and shooting at vehicles. He was booked into the county jail; bail was set at $1.8 million.
Vargas is being held in connection with the shooting death Saturday night of Omar Martinez, 22, of Oakley. Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police responded to reports of gunshots in the 1100 block of O’Hara Avenue about 7 p.m. and found Martinez dead inside a black sedan.
A second male, 16, was found nearby also suffering from gunshot wounds. He was airlifted to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek and listed in stable condition.
Detectives believe there were two additional victims in the vehicle in which Vargas was found.
Oakley Chief of Police Bani Kollo said the investigation is ongoing, and while the motive of the shooting remains unknown, the incident does not appear to be random. “The suspect was not arrested with any gang enhancements,” said Kollo. “But there are certainly gang overtones to this, and time will tell based on further investigation.”
The shooting occurred about a half mile from where 21-year-old James Di Dio of Oakley was shot to death on June 4 near O’Hara Park Middle School. Dameon Zesati, 19, also of Oakley, was arrested two days later and charged with murder and participating in a street gang.
Although police have not indicated that the two cases are related, area residents believe they are. One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said it was “just crazy to see people who have, in some cases, been friends as far back as elementary school, now killing each other. … They don’t see how when they get shot or killed they victimize their family members, and in many cases they’re forced to travel in the area of the shootings on a daily basis.”
Another Oakley resident, who is also a police officer in a nearby city, said he believes Oakley is a nice community, but that gangs in the area are putting many at risk. He said Saturday’s shooting is a “wakeup call” that should be addressed by the community immediately.
Correspondent Janice Gomes contributed to this story.