Man killed by police was suspect in SJSU murders

San Jose police need public's help in double shooting
October 18, 2011 6:03:23 PM PDT
San Jose police say a man they shot and killed on Oct. 10 is a college student suspected of killing two other students two days earlier. Police say the killings were not random and that the two students were targeted.

Police announced Tuesday that a student at SJSU majoring in psychology, 23-year-old Ricardo Moreno, was responsible for the murders of 21-year-old Eric Otokawa and 20-year-old Kristina Pandula.

Police say the murders of the two former San Jose State students on Oct. 8 on South Third Street were especially brutal.

"They were murdered execution style. They were both shot in the back of the head," homicide unit commander Lt. Alan Carvell said.

"I'm just really shocked. I can't believe that it was a student," SJSU student William Pule. "I really thought that it was someone outside."

Police say they killed Moreno two days after the double murder when he pointed a gun at an officer. At the time, they did not know it was the very gun used to kill the former students.

"That's clearly a threat to the officer and they did the absolutely appropriate thing," San Jose Police Chef Chris Moore said.

SJSU officials say that between January and May of this year, Otokawa and Moreno did live in the same Campus Village dorm.

"While we work to deal with the loss of these three lives, our campus remains safe," SJSU spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris said.

Police say they now believe Moreno's motive to kill his former friends involved drugs.

"Either dealing or using with him. We have evidence that shows that he knew Eric, that he communicated with Eric, that they partied together," Carvell said.

People who live near where the double murder happened say they are relieved the case has been solved and the killer is not on the loose.

"Now that I know the situation a little bit more, it's not where it's just, you know, people are getting shot, innocent people, it's more I guess, drug related," neighbor Sean Duff said.

Police believe that Moreno only killed Pandula because she was Otokawa's girlfriend. They say she was a victim of circumstance.


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