Sampson County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Jimmy Thornton


Homicide at 51 Bid Lane

Jose Lopez Gonzales

On Sunday, September 9, 2007, around 6:58 PM, the Sampson County E-911 Center received a call regarding a Hispanic male shooting at a residence on Bid Lane. The caller advised the telecommunicator that a burgundy Mitsubishi Eclipse occuppied by three Hispanic males pulled up in front of the residence and one of the occupants starting firing at a mobile home. It was later determined that one of the occupants of the
mobile home had been shot.

Sheriff Jimmy Thornton, who was in the area, responded to the call. While traveling down North McCullen Road, Sheriff Thornton passed the suspect vehicle and attempted
to stop it. The suspect vehicle continued traveling down North McCullen Road, where it eventually stopped and the suspects fled on foot toward a wooded area. Responding units from the Sheriff's Office and the N.C. State Highway Patrol sealed off the area and initiated an area search. Other officers from the Sheriff's Office responded to 51 Bid Lane, where they discovered the body of Victor Manuel Cruz, a nineteen year old male. Mr. Cruz was inside the residence of 51 Bid Lane, when the Hispanic male opened fire on the residence. One of the males later came back to the vehicle on North McCullen Road and he was taken into custody for questioning. The male, was interviewed and released once it was determined that he was not involved in the shooting. A manhunt ensued for the other two suspects identified as Jose Lopez Gonzales and a Hispanic male known only as"Junior".

Around 3:30 AM on September 10, 2007, the E-911 Center received a call from 2626 Giddensville Road in regard to two Hispanic males attempting to break into the residence. Officers from the Sheriff's Office and the N.C. State Highway Patrol responded and located Jose Lopez Gonzales, a 25 year old male, hiding behind a building. The other Hispanic male known only as "Junior" fled into the wooded area. A search of the area was conducted, however the third suspect was unable to be located. Jose Lopez Gonzales of 152 Keenan Weeks Road, Newton Grove, NC was taken into custody and charged with the homicide of Victor Manuel Cruz. Mr. Gonzales was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center without the privilege of bond.