Crime - Sacto 911

A man was shot while listening to music in his car. Was his killer caught?

Q: In November 1995, a former co-worker of mine was shot while listening to music in his car late at night outside of his apartment complex. His name was Jose, and he worked at Denny’s and Lyon’s restaurants in the College Glen neighborhood. Was his murderer ever found?

Colleen, Sacramento

A: No arrests were reported in the November 1995 slaying of 29-year-old Jose Luis Gaeta.

Gaeta was shot in the head about 3:20 a.m. outside the apartment he shared with his sister, brother-in-law and another man in the 600 block of Las Palmas Avenue in the North Sacramento area, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.

After returning from one of his two jobs as a short-order cook, Gaeta sometimes rested in his car, listening to the radio and relaxing before entering the apartment, family members said.

Police said at the time that they believed someone approached Gaeta to rob him or steal his older-model Honda Civic.

Gaeta reportedly struggled with his assailant and was shot. He was found lying across the street with a single bullet wound near his left ear. His wallet was missing, the car door was open and the radio was still playing, detectives said.

Gaeta died the next day. He left a wife and two young daughters.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy