CHINO (CBSLA) – A manhunt is underway for a 25-year-old suspect accused of shooting and killing his 24-year-old ex-girlfriend and wounding another man in Chino Thursday afternoon.
Chino police are searching for Julio Cesar Rocha of Montclair in the slaying of Thalia Flores.
Flores was sitting in driver’s seat of her car with another man outside a shopping center in the 12500 block of Central Avenue, near Walnut Avenue, at 2:43 p.m. when police say Rocha approached the car and opened fire, police said. Flores died at the scene and the man suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
Family and friends told CBS2 that Rocha was stalking her.
“She got out of work, and she probably came to the store,” Flores’ aunt, Marylou Hernandez told CBS2.
Hernandez said Flores recently ended her relationship with Rocha, who she says was abusive. Flores’ family had asked police to investigate him, Hernandez added.
“I think he was spying on her,” Hernandez said.
Flores’ sister echoed that sentiment.
“He would go to the house and leave little notes trying to get her back,” Maria Flores disclosed.
Chino police said the man who was shot while in the passenger seat of Flores’ car ran down the street to a nearby hospital and survived his injuries.
“The guy tried to go into my store,” Straw Hat Pizza owner Izilda Pitzer said. She added that she did not know if the man was the victim or suspect.
“I think he saw it was not a place to be at that time,” Pitzer said.
Within hours, Flores’ family had lit candles at the scene where detectives continued to collect evidence. Flores’ 25th birthday was this weekend, and her family said she was looking forward to a fresh start.
“She was scared of him ‘cause I would always tell her to leave him, and she would be like, ‘No, I can’t,'” Maria said.
Police have released a photo of Rocha. He is described as 5-foot-11, 275 pounds with black short hair and brown eyes. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call police at 909-628-1234.