UPDATE: Gilroy Man Arrested in Morgan Hill Shooting, Teenager Killed

Gilroy resident, Fernando Montejo, was arrested with four other men on suspicion of homicide and attempted homicide against four teenagers on Friday night.

UPDATED Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.—The two teen girls who were hospitalized for a gun shot to the stomach and leg remain in the hospital, a police captain said Tuesday. The teen who sustained a gun shot to her stomach is reportedly in grave condition.

Fernando Montejo, 20 of Gilroy, was one of five men arrested in a Friday-night shooting that left one teenager dead and three others wounded.

Morgan Hill resident Tara Romero, 14, was killed after she and three teenage friends became the targets of what is thought to be a gang-related drive-by shooting, Morgan Hill police said Saturday.

The group of teens was standing in a grassy area near an apartment complex when the shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m., said Captain Jerry Neumayer.

Police responding to the scene found four juveniles, including Romero, who was declared dead at the scene.

A 14-year-old San Jose girl and a 15-year-old Morgan Hill boy suffered gunshot wounds to the leg and a 14-year-old San Jose girl received a gunshot wound to her stomach, Neumayer said.

The two girls were taken to Valley Medical Center, and the boy was taken to San Jose Regional Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Police spotted a suspect vehicle fleeing the scene and followed it to an address on Barnell Avenue. The suspects were persuaded to surrender and five people were taken into custody without further incident.

Those arrested include Esmeling Bahena, 18, from Morgan Hill, Ricardo Diaz, 19, of Morgan Hill, Fernando Mateo, 20, from Gilroy, Primitivo Hernandez, 23 and a 17-year-old Morgan Hill boy.

Police are treating the shooting as gang related, but Neumayer said they did not believe the victims were gang members.

"We believe the shooters are gang members," Neumayer said. "We don't believe the victims are affiliated with any gangs, they just happened to be in the wrong location at the wrong time."

The last homicide in Morgan Hill took place Oct. 2, 2009, when Juan Jose Arrellano, Jr., a 24-year-old Hollister resident, was killed in a gang-related shooting.

Tara has a Facebook page titled, "RIP Tara Ramero." More than 3,000 people have "liked" the page so far, with the page apparently receiving more than 2,000 "likes" within the first 24 hours. 

The Facebook page is flooded with comments, with some leaving messages asking for donations to contribute toward a funeral.

Other comments include heartfelt messages.

One commenter wrote, "I love you my beautiful cousin, my curly-haired princess. I wish this never happened to you baby, but you are with God now and will always have your wonderful smile on your face. There will be no more hurt or no more pain to ever take it away."

Tara's death has also affected people who have never met her.

One Facebook message said, "I didn't even know you, but I was sad knowing what happened and started crying. You're in a better place now Tara. May we let you rest in peace, beautiful angel. God bless your family."

Other people left messages of a young life lost.

One wrote, "We all live to die, but not when we haven't lived yet. You were too young. R.I.P Tara, we all think of you."

Another message said, "She died over the dumbest thing, poor girl. She didn't deserve to die. She's so young--she's my age."

—The Bay Area News contributed to this report.

bev tweedy November 09, 2011 at 10:41 PM
I wanna say my heart go's out to the Romero Family NO parent should ever have to go through this. I can't say I know their pain But I can say I am a Mother & I would be devastated if something happened to my child. With that the young kids who committed this Crime should be sentenced as Adults they knew what they where doing when they did it & in my opinion they have to face the consequence's for their Actions Period Point Blank. A life was taken & others injured. All involved with her death have families So in this everyone Losses However a Precious Soul A Beautiful Young Woman is gone & for what? Something Petty A stupid click trying to act like their tough Now they deserve to sit in Prison Forever and see if their really tough while their Familes suffer & Tamar's Family mourns! My heart go's out to All the victim's families Especially Tamara's I did not know her personally but it touched my heart hearing her story & anyone with a heart will understand that this was a senseless crime & justice needs to be served in Tamara Romero's Honor for the sake of her grieving family. My prayer's are with the Romero family. R.I.P. Ms.Tamara Romero
Annette castro November 15, 2011 at 07:04 PM
I live in Lancaster, Ca. but lived in Morgan Hill as a teenager. I recently recieved a request on my facebook for R.I.P. Tara Romero.... I didnt know this beautiful young lady... I had to search the internet to find out what happen to her... All I have to say is Im simply heart broken... I pray for the family... I pray God give them peace and comfort through this very sad time.... My heart and prayers are with you all..
ivonne October 27, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Omg I'm so sorry for ur lost .. god bless the familly of TARA ROMERO♡
Titi Mendoza May 06, 2013 at 10:21 AM
My beautiful,kootyqueen neice your in a better place baby. I Would give anything to have you here even trade places with you. Me and grandma miss u so much. Your a beautiful angel now ,watch over mom and grandma. Titi loves you.


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