Shooting suspect arrested on multiple felony charges

Jesse Cota accused of stealing vehicle, jewelry, handgun

Jesse Cota

Police arrested a Hollister man on suspicion of multiple dangerous felony charges after he fired gunshots from inside a home, and was later pulled over with a loaded handgun and a child in the vehicle he was traveling in, according to authorities.

The night of April 5, Hollister Police officers responded to the 900 block of West Street just south of downtown, in response to a report of shots being fired into a house, according to a press release. When officers arrived, they determined the single gunshot originated from inside the home, rather than from outside.

The suspect responsible for the shooting had fled the scene before police arrived, in a white Toyota Camry, police said. Police did not recover any weapons at the scene. No injuries were reported in relation to the shooting.

On April 6, United Narcotics Enforcement Team (UNET) agents received information about the location of the weapon used in the shooting, police said. UNET agents and Hollister Police Officers returned to the West Street location to continue the investigation. After a detailed search, a firearm was located hidden on the property.

While Police Officers and UNET agents were still on scene, a white Toyota Camry matching the suspect vehicle from the April 5 incident drove by the residence, according to police. Officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle in the 300 block of Swope Alley.

The front passenger of the vehicle, Jesse Cota, 38, was identified as being present when the shooting occurred the previous night, police said. As officers spoke to Cota, they located a loaded handgun near him. There was also a child in the vehicle

Cota was immediately taken into custody.

A continued search of Cota and the vehicle revealed watches, jewelry and narcotics, police said. The handgun from the vehicle and several jewelry items matched items that had been reported stolen recently from a home in Hollister.

Cota was booked at San Benito County Jail on suspicion of child endangerment, carrying a concealed weapon inside a vehicle, possession of a loaded firearm, felon in possession of a loaded firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, committing a felony while on bail for a felony charge, possession of stolen property, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of controlled substance, attempting to destroy/conceal evidence and possession of controlled substance while armed with a firearm, the press release states.

On April 7, officers from UNET and Hollister PD were following up on the case in the area of Bridge and Bridgevale roads, when they located a stolen Honda Civic on the property, police said. The Honda matched the description of a vehicle Cota had previously been driving. Officers responded to the jail and added charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a shortened-barrel shotgun to the list of accusations against Cota.

The investigation is ongoing, and UNET and Hollister Police Department continue to follow leads.

Anyone with information about this incident can call the Hollister PD at (831) 636-4330. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.


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