ELK GROVE (CBS13) – Elk Grove police have identified and are looking for the suspect in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Sunday night.

Police are looking for 25-year-old Ryan Alan Hays in connection with the shooting death of 19-year-old Joseph Oropesa.

Elk Grove police were called to the parking lot of Dimple Records in the 9600 block of Elk Grove Florin Road just before 9:30 p.m. Sunday for reports of a shooting.

They found Oropesa in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to his head. He was taken to the hospital but later died.

joseph oropesa Suspect Identified In Elk Grove Murder Of 19 Year Old New Dad

Joseph Oropesa with his newborn son. (credit: Oropesa Family)

After getting several tips, police identified Hays as the suspect in the shooting.

“Now that they’ve identified this suspect who did this to my son, I beg all of you to please, please call the police right away,” Oropesa’s mother, Jennifer said. “We need to get him off the street.”

Despite their grief, Oropesa’s family is still focused on their mission – to find their son’s killer.

And Tuesday they got one step closer to their goal.

“We’re not sure what the motive was and we won’t know until we have Mr. Hays in custody,” Elk Grove Police Officer Chris Trim said.

Police believe Hays is still on the run in the SUV Oropesa drove to the record store that night. The black Ford Explorer has California license number 3BHF649.

Police released two pictures of Hays in case the suspect attempts to change his appearance. Police also are warning the public that Hays is likely armed and dangerous.

“That’s why I want him caught,” Oropesa’s mother said. “It’s not going to bring (Joseph) back, but he’s a killer, he’s out there and he can do it to somebody else.”

The Oropesas have erected balloons and a sign at the spot where Joseph was killed, pleading for help in catching Hays.

The display is already drawing it’s share of attention, including from a young woman who went to high school with Joseph and claims she saw the killer speeding away the night of the shooting.

“We were outside, me and my neighbor, and all I see is a black car speed down this way, then he went down Walnut, then down Emerald and just kept driving down,” she said.

The Oropesas hope there are more accounts like that in the coming days to lead to an arrest for Joseph.

Oropesa just became a father two months ago to a son named Chase.

Anyone with information the whereabouts of Ryan Alan Hays is asked to call the Elk Grove Police Department Detective Bureau at (916) 478-8060 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357). Callers to Crime Alert can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00.


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