Suspect in fatal Mission shooting claims self defense

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Esdras Elias Ortiz

The suspect involved in the July 1 murder of a man in Mission claimed he did it in self defense, but surveillance footage obtained by police show him walking away before turning around and shooting the victim, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Esdras Elias Ortiz, 26, of Mission, allegedly shot and killed 27-year-old Yorman Jovani Reta.

Ortiz remains jailed on a $2 million bond.

At 8:37 p.m. that day, Mission police were dispatched to 2807 Dinastia Dorado in reference to shots fired. Once they arrived, police found Reta unresponsive and his girlfriend Jessica Lee Herrera, who reported that Reta was shot by her long-time friend Ortiz, according to the affidavit.

Herrera stated that she and Reta were in her kitchen washing dishes when they heard a knocking at the side door to her residence, so Reta went to check to see who it was.

“Ms. Herrera stated that suddenly she heard an argument followed by several gunshots,” the affidavit said. “Furthermore, Ms. Herrera explained that she walked outside through the side door, and saw her boyfriend on the ground with gunshot wounds and barely breathing.”

She added that Ortiz kept advancing toward Reta to shoot him again, but she managed to overpower him and get him to leave, according to Herrera.

Police managed to find six 9mm spent casings in the proximity of the victim when they processed the scene.

During the course of the investigation, another officer proceeded to a secondary location, 1510 Judy Street in Mission, and made contact with Ortiz who told the officer that he had shot Reta in self defense, the affidavit said.

Ortiz then handed a 9mm Glock 26 to the officer.

At 5:23 a.m. the following day, detectives met with Ortiz who cooperated by providing an audio/video statement.

“In the statement, [Ortiz] implicated himself as the person responsible for the shooting,” the affidavit said. “Furthermore, the defendant added that he arrived at his friend’s residence, and a verbal confrontation ensued with the victim, which escalated and resulted in the shooting of the victim outside the residence.”

At 9:08 a.m. that same day, one of the detectives obtained video surveillance from one of the neighbor’s surveillance cameras, the affidavit said.

The video showed Ortiz walking away from Reta before turning around and shooting at the victim. Reta sustained several gunshot wounds to the head and to the left side of his body.

Reta was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a previous interview Mission Police Chief Cesar Torres stated that the victim had a kitchen knife on him, but the affidavit doesn’t mention a knife.