Milpitas: Two teens arrested in 2016 shooting death of homeless man


Longtime Milpitas resident Robert Gutierrez was shot and killed in the early hours of Sept. 29.Photo courtesy of Gutierrez family

MILPITAS — Police have announced the arrests of two teens in the deadly 2016 shooting of an affable homeless man near his encampment behind a Milpitas shopping center.

Longtime Milpitas resident Robert Gutierrez was shot and killed in the early hours of Sept. 29, 2016.
Photo courtesy of Gutierrez family

The suspects, described as two male Milpitas residents ages 18 and 16, were arrested Jan. 31 in connection with the slaying of 47-year-old Robert Gutierrez.

Neither suspect’s name was released because both were juveniles when the shooting occurred, Milpitas said in a news release Wednesday.

The shooting occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 29, 2016, behind the Sunnyhills Shopping Center on Dixon Road, where Gutierrez reportedly lived. Responding officers found a gravely wounded Gutierrez, and he died soon after at a hospital.

The case went more than a year without any significant development, and in January the police department offered a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

It was not immediately clear whether that reward led to detectives identifying the two teen suspects. On the night of Jan. 31, the 16-year-old suspect was arrested at a home on Callan Street, and the 18-year-old was arrested nearby, police said.

Gutierrez was described by family and friends as the youngest of seven children who was once a skilled cement mason, and remembered for being kind and caring to people who patronized the shopping center.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the case can contact Milpitas police at 408-586-2400, or leave an anonymous tip at 408-586-2500 or at www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip.

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