Update #2: Cruz accidentally shot himself

Investigators from the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office, Orland Police Department, and Glenn County District Attorney’s Office confer at the scene of the death of Bernabe Trenado Cruz, 33, of Orland. Glenn County Observer photo by Larry Judkins.

By Larry Judkins

Glenn County Observer

The man whose body was found in an Orland alley Wednesday morning apparently died from a self-inflicted but accidental gunshot wound – after he shot into a vehicle occupied by estranged members of his own family.

This according to a press release from the Orland Police Department sent out at about 3:15 Thursday afternoon.

As reported very late Wednesday and early Thursday afternoon in The Glenn County Observer, at about 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, Orland police officers received a request for a welfare check for a man lying on the ground in the alley behind 514 Fourth Street.

Officers responded to the alleyway and found a deceased man with an apparent gunshot wound. A firearm was recovered at the scene.

The man was identified as Bernabe Trenado Cruz, 33, of 367 Stonycreek Drive, Orland.

After Orland police officers found the body, Glenn County Sheriff’s Deputy Emily Lourenzo responded to the scene. She confirmed the death and a coroner’s investigation was initiated.

According to the Orland Police Department’s press release on Thursday, the preliminary investigation uncovered evidence, statements and video surveillance indicating that during a domestic incident at a nearby residence [presumably 514 Fourth Street – Editor] on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at around 5 p.m., Cruz fired a handgun into a vehicle occupied by his estranged family.

The vehicle’s occupants were not injured during the attack and fled in the vehicle to safety.

Immediately following the shooting, Cruz fled the area. While climbing through a fence, Cruz sustained a single fatal gunshot and collapsed in the alley.

As stated above, the Orland Police Department was not dispatched to the area until next morning, when nearby workers spotted the body of Cruz in the alley.

A couple of Observer readers were offended by a photo in the first story about the death that showed Cruz lying on the ground in the alleyway. The photo was taken a considerable distance away and more or less into the sun, and the body in the photo is completely unrecognizable.

Both readers were concerned that Cruz’s family may see the photo and be traumatized by it, never being able to forget that this was the last image of the man they will ever see.

The Observer’s editor is skeptical of this notion, at least with regards to some members of Cruz’s family. Specifically, this probably won’t be the image of Cruz that the members of his family who he shot at will remember.

The investigation is continuing, and an autopsy is scheduled. The Orland Police Department is not currently looking for any suspects and there is no known threat to the public.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Sgt. Kyle Cessna at 865-1616.

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