Jacob Matthew Alvin Vargas web

18-year-old charged with murder of 19-year-old in Indio apartment shooting

An 18-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting a 19-year-old in an apartment in Indio was charged with murder today.  

Jacob Matthew Alvin Vargas of Indio was also charged with one felony count each of burglary and being a convicted felon and narcotic addict in possession of a firearm, according to court records. He also faces sentence-enhancing allegations of committing the crimes while out on bail.  

He’s set to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

Officers responded at 12:48 a.m. Friday to reports of gunshots heard at the Monte Azul Apartments, in the 82160 block of Dr. Carreon Boulevard, Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron told City News Service.   

“Officers were led to an apartment in the complex … upon entry, they found a male adult with gunshot wounds,” Guitron told CNS. “Indio (and) Cal Fire paramedics and fire staff were there, and the victim passed away at the scene.”  

The name of the victim was not immediately released by the Riverside County Coroner’s Bureau, however, family identified him to News Channel 3 as 19-year-old Jaime Garcia.

A GoFundMe page has been created raising funds for funeral expenses.

Guitron said people who heard the gunshots led officers to the apartment, where paramedics and firefighters found the victim. They attempted unsuccessful life-saving measures, and detectives began a homicide investigation.

By Saturday, detectives identified Vargas as a suspect and found him in the 51-800 block of Sunset Drive in Coachella with assistance from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Gang Impact Team, according to Guitron.  

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Vargas was subsequently arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, where he remains held without bail.   

Anyone with information on the early morning shooting was asked to call IPD detective Kevin Belman at 760-541-4376, detective Shane DaCosata at 760-391-4117 or Valley Crime Stoppers at 760-341-7867.

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