Raids Result in Arrest of Four for Fatal Nuevo Vallarta Shooting in 2020

San Jose police announced today they have arrested three men and one woman on homicide charges in connection with a 2020 shooting at Nuevo Vallarta restaurant in San Jose that resulted in the deaths of two men and the wounding of four others.

In multiple raids across the city on Jan.19, working with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, city homicide detectives arrested the four murder suspects, plus three others on drug charges, and confiscated illegal drugs, cash and illegal weapons.

Police said the four San Jose residents were responsible for the brutal bloodbath outside the popular South Capitol Avenue restaurant that terrorized an East San Jose neighborhood. Two men were killed and four injured in the shooting, which remained unsolved until last week’s arrests.

The murder suspects, Raymond Araujo, 34; Andres Salas Campos, 20; Oswaldo Varela, 44; and Leticia Escalera, 31, were being held without bail this week in county jail  facilities.

On Jan 19, homicide detectives and the DEA “conducted a large-scale operation that included the execution of six search warrants and six arrest warrants at various locations” throughout San José, police said in a Jan. 26 statement. The operations were supported by officers from the police Special Operations MERGE (Mobile Emergency Response Group and Equipment), Metro, and Violent Crimes Enforcement Team.

During this homicide investigation it was discovered that one of the primary suspects, Raymond Araujo, was also involved in the selling and distribution of narcotics, police said..

At the various locations, police seized: 1 gallon of liquid meth, 6 pounds of cocaine, 3.85 pounds of heroin, marijuana for sales, 30 fentanyl pills, a 9mm ghost Glock semi-auto handgun and an AR-15 rifle, plus $175,000 in cash.

On Oct. 16, 2020 at approximately 11:40pm, police responded to the Nuevo Vallarta restaurant, located in the 100 block of S. Capitol Avenue for a shooting incident. When they arrived, they located five victims, all adult males. They all suffered from at least one gunshot wound each.

One of the victims was declared dead at the scene by paramedics. A second was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injury and was pronounced deceased. Three other victims were transported to local hospitals where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. During the investigation a sixth victim arrived at a local emergency room. He was identified as being present at the scene and also had a non-life-threatening injury. All four survived.

Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.


  1. Would it be inappropriate to ask their immigration status or for a history of their previous criminal activities — you know, the ubiquitous rap sheet? Inquiring minds want to know. ?

    Was there any other time in their criminal history that a LONG prison sentence would have saved lives and numerous other victims. And, don’t forget, the criminals do not get caught for all of their crimes. Most criminal activity is never solved or fully prosecuted.

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