Crime - Sacto 911

Man fatally shot in Hagginwood home remembered as ‘great guy’

Tony Sotelo with his wife, Melissa Sotelo.
Tony Sotelo with his wife, Melissa Sotelo. Courtesy of Manuel Sotelo

As Sacramento police search for a suspect, family members mourn the loss of shooting victim Tony Sotelo, the family peacemaker and die-hard Oakland Raiders fan killed in the incident Tuesday.

“When the Cowboys beat them (the Raiders), we didn’t talk for two days,” said brother Manuel Sotelo, who roots for the Dallas Cowboys. “He was a family man who loved life.”

Sotelo, 43, was born and raised in Sacramento and had several family members, including three brothers, living in the area, Manuel Sotelo said. Tony Sotelo was the “peacemaker” among his friends and family.

He had a wife and two children, ages 21 and 22, Manuel Sotelo said.

Tony Sotelo died at what public records indicate was his home – a tan, single-story house in the 3100 block of Academy Way in the Hagginwood area. Part of the street surrounding the home was taped off to the public the morning after the shooting, with crime scene investigators moving around the property. Two cars were towed from the home.

Soleto was found by officers with at least one gunshot wound after they received a report of a shooting at 7:17 p.m. Tuesday. He was later declared dead at the scene by Sacramento Fire Department personnel, said Sgt. Vance Chandler, a Sacramento Police Department officer.

The Sacramento Police Department released no information about a motive or potential suspect as of Friday afternoon. Manuel Sotelo said his family has not learned of any developments.

“They want to have all the pieces together before they give out any information,” Chandler said of the department’s homicide investigators.

Sacramento County Superior Court records show Sotelo was acquitted in 2007 of murder in the 2005 shooting of Richard Rios, 19. Rios was shot and killed outside of the Tallac Lounge on 60th Street after an altercation between two groups.

Manuel Soleto would say only that his brother was “protecting himself and others” during the incident.

A year before the Tahoe Park shooting, Sotelo was also named as one of two people injured at a midtown nightclub shooting. Two others died and were found by police on the pavement south of the club on 15th Street, according to a Sacramento Bee story.

In that case, Sotelo showed up at UC Davis Medical Center on his own after what police described as a verbal altercation between two groups of men that led to the shooting.

A few days before the Tahoe Park incident, Sotelo was also charged with several felonies, including possession of a controlled substance for sale and carrying a loaded firearm while in possession of a controlled substance. He pleaded no contest to all charges in that case.

“No matter what they say, he was a great guy,” Manuel Sotelo said.

Sotelo is survived by his mother, three brothers, children and wife, Manuel Sotelo said.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets