Jose Francisco Valiente-Martinez, 44, owner of Littlejohn’s Fine Jewelry in Gilroy, Calif., faces murder charges after allegedly shooting and killing a man in his store following an argument, according to the local police department.
On June 24, at 1 p.m., officers responded to a report of a shooting at the business, according to a police statement. When they arrived at the scene, within two minutes of the report, they found a man suffering from at least one gunshot wound. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by medical personnel.
The victim has since been identified as Jose Martinez Suncin, 39, a local resident.
“The motive and circumstances surrounding the shooting are under investigation,” said the Gilroy Police Department in its statement. “Based on the preliminary investigation, the suspect and the deceased knew each other, and this was not a random act of violence.”
A Gilroy Police spokesperson tells JCK it’s believed that Suncin was shot following an argument inside the store.
Valiente-Martinez could not be reached for comment. He is listed as the store’s owner of the business in local public records.
His lawyer did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.
JCK examined the issues surrounding jewelers keeping guns in their stores in 2013.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Jason Greathead at 408-846-0373. Those wanting to remain anonymous may call the police department’s tip line at 408-846-0330.
Top: Littlejohn’s Fine Jewelry in Gilroy, Calif. (photo via Google Maps)
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