The suspect Austin Alvarez was nabbed by police shortly after fleeing the scene

California man Austin Alvarez was arrested and charged with murder after allegedly fatally shooting his grandmother and his father’s girlfriend as they opened presents on Christmas.

“During the visit, Alvarez fired shots striking his grandmother (Magdalena Alvarez) and his father’s girlfriend (Meisa Rashid),” the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. “As Alvarez was leaving the house, he noticed his father in a parked vehicle. Alvarez fired shots in his direction, but did not strike him.”

The family gathered at a home in Reedley on Christmas Day to exchange presents, according to police. Suspect Austin Alvarez, 23, reportedly pulled a gun at some point during the visit and began shooting at family members.

Deputies responded to the home at about 1:45 p.m. and found 58-year-old Magdalena Alvarez and 39-year-old Meisa Rashid fatally shot. 

Sheriff’s deputies learned that Alvarez fled the scene in a GMC pick-up truck, and launched a combined effort with the California Highway Patrol and the Reedley, Sanger, Orange Cove and Kingsburg police departments to track him down. He was ultimately arrested hours after the shooting. 

He is facing two charges of murder and one charge of attempted murder. His bail was set at $2.5 million. 

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing and police said they have not yet established a clear motive in the case.


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