Police arrest F’ville couple in double homicide
A recent Farmersville high school graduate and a Delano man were gunned down in what appears to be a gang related shooting in Three Rivers last week.
A July 1 autopsy identified the victims of the double homicide as 20-year-old Samuel Talamantez of Farmersville and 28-year-old Santos Valdavinos of Delano. Talamantez, a 2012 graduate of Deep Creek Academy continuation high school in Farmersville, died from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. Valdavinos died from a single gunshot wound to his chest.
Last Thursday, the Sheriff’s Department arrested two Farmersville residents in connection with the shooting. Manuel Anthony Talamantez, 27, of Farmersville is being charged with two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of false imprisonment. Christina Martinez, 29, of Farmersville is being charged with one count of false imprisonment and one count of accessory to murder. She was released from custody earlier this week.
The shooting happened at about 5:28 p.m. in the Cobbler Knoll area of Three Rivers. The reporting party called 911 and advised of three subjects that had been shot. Deputies arrived and found Talamantez and Valdavinso had been shot to death and a third victim, Pablo Gonzalez, 21, of Tipton was still alive suffering from a gunshot wound to his leg. Gonzalez was transported by Life Flight to Community Regional Medical Center where he was treated and is currently in stable condition.
The Sheriff’s Department’s Violent Crimes Unit was called to take over the investigation. According to VCU investigators, several subjects were at the Kaweah River when an argument and fight between two opposing gang members ensued. The two men produced firearms and shots were exchanged. Both Valdavinos and Samuel Talamantez succumbed to their injuries at the scene. Gonzalez was swimming in the river when he was struck by a round in his leg.
A fourth victim, only identified as a 17-year-old male juvenile from Tulare, was fleeing the area when he was confronted by Manual Talamantez who fired a round at him striking him in the right arm. The juvenile sought treatment at a local hospital who contacted the Sheriff’s Department. He is in stable but critical condition.
Deputies stopped Manuel Talamantez and Martinez’s vehicle as they were attempting to flee the scene. Deputies arrested the couple after finding evidence in the vehicle linking them to the crime. Two, 5-year-old children where located in the vehicle as well. The children were placed in the care of Child Welfare Services.
This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff Department Violent Crimes Unit (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 1-800-TIPNOW.