DA Releases Homicide Suspect in Gilroy Shooting, Declines to File Charges

Santa Clara County prosecutors said today they do not have enough evidence to file charges against Benjamin David Calderon, whom Gilroy Police arrested Oct. 30 in relation to a fatal shooting at a Gilroy city councilmember’s home.

“We have declined to file charges pending further investigation,” Santa Clara County Chief Trial Deputy District Attorney Angela Bernhard said in a Nov. 3 statement. “This was a large, chaotic Halloween party that ended with a tragic shooting and homicide.”

Michael Daniel Zuniga-Macias, 18, died in the early morning shooting at City Councilmember Rebeca Armendariz’ home on the 400 block of Las Animas Avenue. Three other victims were injured by the gunfire. Aarmendariz is a prominent Santa Clara County Democrat and political ally of County Supervisor and San Jose mayoral candidate Cindy Chavez.

Michael Daniel Zuniga-Macias

Two of the injured were still in the hospital as of Nov. 1, and the third was treated and released, according to police. All of the injured are between 17 and 19 years old.

The violence occurred as a result of an altercation just before 1am during a large outdoor Halloween party, according to police. Shortly after 4pm Oct. 30, Gilroy Police and the regional SWAT team arrested Calderon, 19, at a home on Church Street in relation to the shooting.

Gilroy Police investigators have also said they think two shooters were involved in the altercation, but have not released information about any other suspects. Police also said two firearms were found at the scene of the shooting, but it is unknown if they were the weapons used in the Oct. 30 crimes.

Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


  1. I would suspect that the DA and the local police will not get much help in solving this shooting from the friends of Rebeca Armendariz. More likely, more bodies will show up. All these people and no witnesses? What kind of culture breeds this level of violence and disregard for human life (unless, of course, a police officer shoots someone — then they line up screaming for “justice”)

    Let’s make sure that we all get behind Rebeca Armendariz’ political career — we need to make certain that she is supported by the “community.” I think that this is the second or third homicide associated with her family. Why do we elect people like this? Possibly because politics have become so dirty that decent people don’t want to run for office, which allows these race baiting, sharp elbowed, non-profit leaches, Marxist media backed street hustlers to get elected.

    I feel as if I need a shower whenever I read about people like Rebeca Armendariz and most of the Board of Supervisors.

  2. man

    how can you people live like this?

    the only thing that will come from not prosecuting this murder is more murder

    some one has to come forward and be a witness, if only to save the life of your neighbors’ kids, or maybe your own kid

    how can you not understand this?

    man up for once!

  3. This doesn’t surprise me Gilroy has been corrupt for years GPD killing unarmed citizens Armendáriz covering up what happened at he house is just business as usual in this town

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *