Watsonville police have identified a man they believe drove the car used in the fatal gang-related shooting of an 18-year-old Prunedale man in the parking lot of a Target store last month. Police have obtained an arrest warrant for Watsonville resident Miguel Angel Rodriguez, 22, for the shooting death of Gustavo Diaz on the night of July 23 at the Target at 1415 Main St. Around 6:15 p.m. that day, Diaz and his 25-year-old girlfriend were walking out of the store toward their car when a green Honda Accord drove by them, police said.
The Accord circled the parking lot and approached them again as they reached their car, according to police. The car stopped and a passenger opened fire, hitting the couple, before the driver accelerated away, police said. Police believe Rodriguez was the driver of the Accord. They have not yet identified a suspected shooter. Officers found the car abandoned at an apartment complex off of Ohlone Parkway an hour after the shooting. Diaz died at the scene. His girlfriend was taken to Watsonville Community Hospital for an arm injury and has since been released.
Sgt. Saul Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Police Department, said Diaz was affiliated with a gang. The shooting is being investigated as gang-related, but it does not appear to be connected to other recent murders in Santa Cruz County, police said. Rodriguez has a past arrest history and has associations with a Watsonville gang, police said.