Winters homicide victim ID’d; killer remains at large

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Nearly three months after the victim’s death, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office has publicly identified a Woodland teen killed in an April drive-by shooting near Winters as the search continues for his alleged killer.

David Sanchez, 17, died two days after being struck by gunfire on the afternoon of April 24 while sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle traveling on County Road 89 north of Winters. Two other male juveniles in the car escaped unharmed, sheriff’s Lt. Matt Davis said Monday.

One of them, the driver, initially transported Sanchez to Sutter Davis Hospital, where staff alerted the Davis Police Department that a male had arrived with a gunshot wound to the head, according to the agency’s online crime log. Sanchez was transported to an area trauma center, succumbing to his injuries on April 26.

Sheriff’s investigators said the suspect shot from a small, dark-colored sedan, images of which were captured on a security camera on the same day as the 1:30 p.m. shooting. Davis said the video shows “distinctive damage” to the bottom rear passenger door, as well as a front bumper color that differs from the rest of the vehicle.

“The motive for the shooting does not appear to be a random act or a road rage incident,” Davis said in a news release. “Based on video footage, it is believed that the suspect(s) were lying in wait for the victim’s vehicle prior to the shooting. It is also believed that suspect(s) knew one or more of the victims.”

David Sanchez’s killer shot from this vehicle, which has passenger-door damage and a different-colored front bumper. Courtesy photo

Although coroner’s officials determined Sanchez’s identity shortly after the homicide, detectives didn’t release his name at the time “because doing so could jeopardize the investigation,” Davis said back in early May. He did not elaborate.

Now, investigators are seeking the public’s help in solving the case, asking that any one with information leading to the identification and arrest of a suspect to come forward either by phone or online:

Yolo County Sheriff’s Investigations: 530-668-5215

Yolo County Sheriff’s anonymous crime tip form:

Yolo County Sheriff’s anonymous tip line: 530-668-5248

— Reach Lauren Keene at or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

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