Three illegal immigrants killed in pickup truck shootings identified - East Valley Tribune: News

Three illegal immigrants killed in pickup truck shootings identified

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Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 6:14 pm | Updated: 8:00 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

TUCSON - Authorities have identified three people fatally shot in a Feb. 8 attack on a pickup truck filled with illegal immigrants as two Mexican nationals and a Guatemalan.

The identities were made through partial identifications found on the bodies of the three and with assistance to verify their authenticity from the Mexican and Guatemalan consulates, the Pima County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday.

The victims were identified as Rudy Ottoniel Raxuleu Castro, 29, of Guatemala; Cesar Mora Lopez, 18, of Mexico, and Juana Juarez Gonzales, 40, of Mexico.

The early-morning assault occurred in the Ironwood Forest National Monument, near the Silver Bell mine, northwest of Tucson.

Three or four people fired on the pickup truck when its driver refused to sop the truck, and the vehicle sped off along the dirt road for several miles before veering out of control into the desert. Lopez and Gonzales died in the truck, while Raxuleu Castro, shot in the head, was dragged from the truck by three other survivors.

A man later identified as a smuggling guide, Pedro Luis Beltran, 21, of Mexico, was shot in the hand and arrested.

The three people who dragged Raxuleu Castro were given a ride by another driver but abandoned, and a rancher who found them called for help.

Lt. Mike O'Connor, head of the sheriff's violent crimes unit, said detectives had no leads on suspects. "We're dead in the water," he said.

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