Man wanted for murder of Army soldier suspected in new Lompoc shootings

Walter Morales Jr.

A man who has been on the run since last year’s murder of a United States Army soldier in Lompoc allegedly committed two drive-by shootings in the Santa Barbara County city Saturday evening, and he remains on the loose. [KCOY]

Last September, Marlon Brumfield, 22, was shot and killed in Lompoc while he was home on a month-long leave. Police said the killing was random and unprovoked.

Following the shooting, one of the two suspects, Francisco Gutierrez Ortega, turned himself in and was arrested. The other suspect, Walter Morales Jr., got away.

Shortly before 8 p.m. on Saturday, Morales allegedly chased and shot at a vehicle in the 1000 block of West Olive Avenue. Several people, including children, were inside the vehicle, Lompoc police said.

Later Saturday night, Morales allegedly committed another drive-by shooting near the intersection of Laurel Avenue and N Street. Morales was driving a Mercury Mountaineer SUV during both of the shootings on Saturday, police said.

Morales is described as a Hispanic man who is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes and various tattoos, which include “Morales” on his back; “Griselda” on his neck; “Elisa” and “L” on his right arm; “VLP” on his left arm; “LOM” on his left leg; and “POC” on his right leg.

Investigators consider Morales armed and dangerous. Officers are asking anyone who spots Morales to contact 911 immediately and not try to approach him.

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