Salinas child killer sentenced to life

A Salinas man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2010 death of a 6-year-old during a drive-by shooting, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo announced Wednesday.

Bernardo Camacho, 24, was convicted of murder after a two-week trial, prosecutors said.

On March 23, 2010, Camacho fired several shots out of the passenger window of a vehicle at rival gang members as he and Edmundo Pulido drove by Pocket Park at 1110 East Laurel Drive in Salinas, prosecutors said.

None of the people he was shooting at were hit, but a stray bullet went through a bordering fence and into a neighborhood apartment, hitting and killing 6-year-old Azahel Cruz, prosecutors said.

Cruz was standing in the kitchen of the apartment when the bullet struck him in the head. He was killed instantly.

The bullet continued through another wall and into the living room, where it struck a mirror and sprayed glass on Cruz’s family members.

Prosecutors said Camacho fled to Mexico within a few days of the incident.

Investigators were later able to find witnesses Camacho admitted the crime to, prosecutors said.

Camacho was arrested in Mexico and brought back to Monterey County in 2013.

Pulido, the driver of the vehicle during the shooting, was previously sentenced to 35 years to life in prison in connection with the shooting.