“Balderas has a checkered past. In June 2005, he plead no contest to one count of felony second-degree robbery and received probation, with a gang stipulation, according to court records. In January 2006, his probation was revoked after he was charged as being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon, records show. Instead of serving a two-year prison sentence, he was deported to Mexico, Mustard said.


RED AND BLUE graffiti mark a concrete wall at Virginia and Sutter streets. The colors and tags are affiliated with Norteno and Sureno gangs, in an area of town with increasing gang activity and only blocks away from Sunday’s homicide.

Mistaken For Gang Member, youth Killed By Illegal
Times-Herald
August 18, 2007

Jose Romo was heading downtown to get his hair cut Sunday afternoon with friends.

The city’s 11th homicide victim of 2007 would never make the appointment.

His car, with the 19-year-old Vallejoan riding shotgun, hit the intersection of Tennessee and Marin streets at the wrong time. One of his fellow passengers made the fatal mistake of wearing a red baseball hat in a neighborhood where Nortenos and Surenos are fighting over turf, police said.

Unfortunately, as Romo’s car drove through the intersection, a car with Sureno gang members, wearing their customary blue clothing, also passed through, Detective Mat Mustard said Friday. After a brief “hostile exchange,” police said, the gang members followed Romo and his friends, who are not gang-affiliated and have no criminal records, to Carolina and Marin streets.

Shots rang out.

A gang member fired on Romo’s vehicle numerous times with an undisclosed firearm, striking the young man in the head. That same gang member, an illegal alien from Mexico, had been deported last year after being arrested for a felony involving a hand gun.

After the shooting, Romo’s friends frantically drove off, pulling over at an Italian restaurant near the Vallejo police station because they spotted an ambulance in the parking lot. Romo later died at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

“These people have never been contacted by the police. They have no history of gang association. They were all working class people,” Mustard said of Romo and his friends. “It’s just a senseless act of violence.”

Police quickly arrested the suspected driver of the Sureno car, Jenny Melicia Dizon, 24, of Vallejo. She’s been charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder involving the other passengers in Romo’s car. Her arraignment Wednesday was postponed and she is scheduled back in Solano County Superior Court on Monday.

Police are searching for the alleged shooter, Israel Rivera Balderas, 20, of Vallejo, who had a no-bail bench warrant filed Tuesday. He is charged with the same counts, along with gun enhancements. Both Dizon and Balderas’ charges include gang enhancements.

Police believe there were more people in Dizon’s car and are investigating, Mustard said.

“Some people make poor decisions, and (Balderas) may have believed that these people were gang members and acted on what his belief was,” Mustard said. “Unfortunately, for the victim and victim’s family, he was misidentified.”

Balderas has a checkered past. In June 2005, he plead no contest to one count of felony second-degree robbery and received probation, with a gang stipulation, according to court records. In January 2006, his probation was revoked after he was charged as being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon, records show. Instead of serving a two-year prison sentence, he was deported to Mexico, Mustard said.

Police aren’t sure where Balderas is now. “Whether he will or won’t go back to Mexico, we don’t know,” Mustard said.

Sunday’s shooting is the latest evidence of an increase in Vallejo gang activity, particularly among Hispanics, Mustard said. “For a portion of time we didn’t have enough gang members to track. There’s no doubt we have enough now,” the detective said.

Six blocks away from Romo’s shooting, at Sutter and Virginia streets, is a gang graffiti tag with the phrases “BBH,” “X3″ and “P.WEE” in blue spray paint, the Sureno color.

“BBH” stands for Brown Brother Hood, a Sureno-based Vallejo gang, Mustard said. “X3″ is a version of the number “13,” which is associated with that gang. “P.WEE” most likely refers to the suspected shooter Balderas, who goes by the nickname “Pee Wee,” Mustard said.

Red spray paint from Nortenos competes for space along the concrete wall.

“They are fighting over turf and marking over turf,” Mustard said.

It’s not the first Sureno-Norteno gang murder in Vallejo.

In December 2006, Ivan Valdez, a 20-year-old Sureno gang member, was found gunned down in an abandoned lot in the 300 block of Illinois Street, Mustard said. That homicide is unsolved.

In April 2005, Eric Soto, a Sureno gang member, was shot and killed on the 300 block of El Dorado Street, police said. Frank Capenhurst, 19, and Eric Gentry, 18, both Vallejo Norteno gang members, are charged with the homicide and scheduled to go to trial in September, police said.

All three homicides occurred in a roughly 10-block stretch along Sonoma Boulevard in downtown Vallejo.

Earlier this year, a group of juvenile Sureno gang members performed take-over robberies at various businesses, including a Denny’s restaurant, Mustard said.


3 Responses to “Mistaken For Gang Member, Youth Killed By Previously Deported & Felonious Illegal”

  1. 1 Sandman

    Isn’t multiculturalism and diversity a wonderful thing? Look at all the beautiful colors they are painting on our plain, boaring concrete. Hell, they are even doing it for free!

  2. 2 AMERICANCITIZENSFRST

    It’s sad to hear the our youth are getting kill just for having the wrong colors or having colors that stupid gang banger are using as their ID, The fault should not fall on the poor victims who dress with these colors . The fault should fall on the dumb Government , who treat these criminals like childrens and don’t deport the illegals aliens out . The Government should start penalizining these criminals as adults and prosecuted them fast and executed them with in 60days after the vertic, to send a message you kill to initiate yourself in a gang, you will never become a member for the law will catch you and you will joining your victim. The Government should go after every single member personal items to compasated the victims families , and gang banger prisoner should be send to anothere state prisons to work chaingang prisoners in the pond or othere hard work , not just keep them in jail like if they are in personal gym or headquarters to be giving green light to continue killing people outside. It’s time to punish them as adult and confiscated every single items from them and make them clean the walls of our communitys. These are not a produtive members to our society,and to our nation , it’s a burn to our society and blocking brick to the progress of our nation. STOP THE IDIOTIC KILLING , INPRISON THE KILLERS AND DEPORT TO ANOTHERE JAILS THE ILLEGALS ALIENS/

  3. 3 the marlboro man

    IF WE THE PEOPLE/ would take all the murders /to one place each month.Make sure they have had there day in court.Then call all the media !! then read them there last rights///AND HANG EVERY ONE OF THEM//one at a time!!! then and only then maybe these things Mexico calls UP STANDING CITIZENS will get it. That we have had all we will take from this trash!!!!! Comb there hair/wash there faces/and put anote on each one/WE THE PEOPLE OF THE U.S.A.will not put up with your people braking our laws any longer!!! RETURN TO SENDER

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