Suspect released, another avoids arrest in shooting of Jeff Johnson | March 14, 2008 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - March 14, 2008

Suspect released, another avoids arrest in shooting of Jeff Johnson

by Staff Reports

Police say at least some of their case against three young men in the shooting death of 20-year-old Mountain View resident Jeff Johnson is falling apart due to lack of evidence.

Although their first suspect to be arrested, 19-year-old Nathan Talarico, remains in jail, the second suspect, 19-year-old Jose Romero, has been released, according to police spokesperson Liz Wylie. A third suspect is known to police, however he is not being arrested due to lack of evidence in the case.

According to an affidavit filed by FBI agent Mark Dixon, Johnson was murdered on Feb. 7 during a marijuana deal in the parking lot of the Happi House restaurant at Ehrhorn Avenue and El Camino Real. The FBI agent, citing a witness who was with Johnson, reported that the murderer was one of three men who arrived to take part in the deal. Also taking part were another group of three young men in a separate car, and Johnson and a passenger riding in Johnson's white Ford Explorer.

According to the affidavit, the three suspects were acting strangely, and one claimed to be "coked up." As Johnson and his passenger, becoming nervous, tried to flee the scene, one of the three suspects shot him in the chest, the affidavit says. Johnson drove away down El Camino Real, but crashed soon after. He was pronounced dead at El Camino Hospital.

Police say the three suspects then got in their car and chased the other party of three young men, resulting in a violent car chase and shootout on city streets and Highway 85. During this encounter, one of the passengers in the fleeing vehicle was shot in the leg, police said.

The investigation seemed to move quickly at first, with the first suspect, Talarico, apprehended while getting off a bus in Mobile, Ala. thanks some investigative help from the FBI. The second suspect, Romero, was later apprehended as he exited the Jack in the Box on El Camino Real near Ehrhorn Avenue — only a few yards from where the Feb. 7 shooting took place.

Police are still actively investigating the murder. Anyone with information is urged to call (650) 903-6344.


Like this comment
Posted by Sil
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 14, 2008 at 10:12 am

Pre meditated give Nate life he planned it. Big mexican had the gun with bandana on and shot him. It was going to go down at Dillons house (the car jacker). These kids are all little punks take em off the streets and close a damn case.

Like this comment
Posted by girlfriend
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm

jeff got HIMSELF in everything he should of known NOT to mess with drugs and bad people, Amanda and Jose need to be charged with murder too if they are going to charge nate!!

Like this comment
Posted by 4l4n
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Marijuana prohibition is causing exactly the same kind of violence that alcohol prohibition did in the 30's. If we want to stop the violence we need to address the root cause.

Like this comment
Posted by WTF
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 24, 2008 at 10:35 am

They all need to go to jail for life. Every single person involved needs to be locked up forever. SIL: if you have information on this case, I really, really hope you have come forward. If Nate planned this murder then he is clearly a VERY scary person and needs to never be let out of prison... ever. Same with whoever was with him. I cannot believe these kids PLANNED to murder someone. It is beyond me that they could have sat around discussing how and when they would take someone's life. WTF is wrong with these little mother- f'ers???!!! Clearly they have no respect for life and therefore will never get to experience what most people, who do have respect for life, will get to experience... travel, have families, go to college, have a career... etc, etc. they have thrown away EVERYTHING. Jeff will never get these things because these SOB's took his life.... now they too will see what it's like.

Like this comment
Posted by annonyms
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm

people dont even know what happend.they just need to shut up..maybe he would still be alive if he hadnt gotten himself into that!! leave jose and the others alone..they are great kids..f u all