San Francisco Bay Area Violent Crime

Balam Eugenio Gonzalez Gang Member Convicted of Murder in Series of Drive-By Shootings

A 24-year-old man from San Jose was convicted of three separate drive-by shootings that killed two men and injured a third person, Santa Clara County prosecutors said today.

As a member of a gang, Balam Eugenio Gonzalez hunted and killed several people he believed to be members of rival gangs in 2012 and 2013, according to prosecutors.

He was found guilty of murdering Armando Heredia on Aug. 23, 2012, and Pedro Cortez on Nov. 23, 2013.

Both of them had just turned 18. Prosecutors said the murder of Cortez took place at Capitol Park in broad daylight with families and children nearby. Bystanders tried to revive him but were unable to do so. There was another drive-by shooting on Aug. 18, 2012, but that victim survived. Gonzalez was convicted of premeditated attempted murder in that shooting.

“Hopefully, this verdict will send a message that our community and juries will not accept this senseless gang violence that kills our youth and destroys families,” prosecutor Rob Baker said today in a statement. Investigators used forensics to determine that the same gun had been used in both 2012 shootings, and other evidence linked the Cortez murder to Gonzalez’ car.

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