Authorities are searching for a man who may have been a witness to the shootings.
By Cortney Litwin/Staff Writer
A shooting on Pacific Coast Highway near Sycamore Cove State Beach Sunday night left two men dead and one woman critically injured.
The victims, who had been shot multiple times, were identified as Newbury Park residents Levi A. Orellana, 32, and Francisco Orellana Miranda, 36. The identity of the wounded woman, who underwent surgery at Ventura County Medical Center, was not released pending notification of relatives.
A motorist passing by saw the victims on the shoulder of Pacific Coast Highway and sought help from park rangers, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ron Nelson. When authorities arrived on the scene, they discovered Miranda on a dirt path, dead from gunshot wounds to the chest. Otellana, who was found with the woman just off the highway, died shortly afterward, shot in the abdomen.
Miranda was reportedly from Honduras and was employed as a maintenance man. He was not related to Orellana, who was from El Salvador and worked as a gardener. Both men were married and had children in their native countries.
Authorities haven’t yet discovered a motive for the shootings, but a possible witness “is wanted for questioning,” Nelson said. The man is described as a white male with fair hair and skin, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 160 to 170 pounds and in his late 20s to early 30s. He was last seen wearing a dark denim jacket and jeans and may be carrying a dark-colored backpack.
Sycamore Cove is a favorite spot with hikers and campers, a peaceful stretch of beach with picnic areas, part of Point Mugu State Park. During the investigation, three lanes of PCH were closed off from about 9 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday, as well as portions of the beach as sheriff’s investigators and search and rescue personnel scoured the area for witnesses and evidence, startling nearby campers.
“Our investigators are working the case trying to develop leads,” Nelson said.
Anyone who may have witnessed anything unusual Sunday night is urged to call the Sheriff’s Department at 805.654.2311.