Madera County quarrel evolves into shooting, crash, manhunt

Alvaro Molina
Alvaro Molina Madera County Sheriff’s Office

A relationship quarrel in southern Madera County evolved into a shooting, crash and manhunt Thursday morning, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Sheriff’s Cmdr. Bill Ward said the shooting suspect, Alvaro Molina, was captured after a short manhunt. A woman who was shot during the incident was taken to a Fresno hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, Ward said.

Investigators have learned that she is Molina’s sister but was not his intended target, Ward said.

Ward gave this description for the chain of events:

Just before 8 a.m., authorities received a call about a crash on Avenue 7 between Road 24 and Road 25. Authorities believe Molina, believed to be about 25 years old, was driving in his truck and encountered a man and a woman in another vehicle. Molina got in an argument with them over relationship issues, then Molina fired several shots into the other vehicle, hitting the woman.

The man drove away with Molina giving chase. The vehicles banged into each other several times as they sped down Avenue 7 before Molina crashed into a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pole. He got out of his overturned truck and ran off.

That set off a manhunt in the area, which is mostly filled with vineyards. Madera County sheriff’s deputies put out a call for help, getting assistance from the California Highway Patrol, Madera County District Attorney’s investigators, Madera police and Fresno County sheriff’s K-9 units in looking for the man, who was described as armed and dangerous.

Authorities found Molina about 10:30 a.m. about a half-mile away from where the crash happened. He was taken to a hospital for injuries apparently suffered in the crash and was expected to be booked into Madera County jail on a charge of attempted murder.

Fresno Bee staff writer Jim Guy contributed to this report.