Suspect arrested for shooting of grape grower

The Kern County Sheriff's Office investigates a shooting at Browning Road and Woollomes Avenue on the southern outskirts of Delano, Calif., Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

The Kern County Sheriff's Office arrested a man Saturday who is suspected of shooting and killing the founder of a Kern County table grape company.

Deputies arrested 24-year-old Mariano Fernandez Perez, of Delano, for the shooting of the Dulcich & Sons founder, 84-year-old Jakov Dulcich. The company is best known for its Pretty Lady grapes.

Dulcich was killed Wednesday in a car-to-car shooting outside of Delano.

Dulcich crashed with another vehicle after he was shot at Browning Road and Woollomes Avenue. Some workers were in the area, heard a commotion, saw the vehicles and called 911.

The Sheriff's Office said the suspect then got into a physical confrontation with the driver of the vehicle that was hit by Dulcich's SUV, firing at least one round at that point. No one was injured from that shot, the Sheriff's Office said.

After further investigating, deputies were able identify Perez as a suspect in the shooting.

Perez was arrested around 4 a.m. after deputies conducted a stop of a car and found it was occupied by Perez.

He is being held without bail.

There is still at least one additional suspect who has not been identified, the Sheriff's Office said.

Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (661) 861-3110 or the Secret Witness hotline at 322-4040.

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