Anonymous call helped police nab gang member who admitted killing woman in case of mistaken identity: reports

Crime Watch

Keontay Shoemake during a court hearing. File image.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A gang member who admitted shooting dead a woman last month told police he mistook her for a man who is friends with a rival gang member, according to court documents.

The documents, which became available this week, provide new details in the slaying of Sara Bustamante outside a South Chester Avenue liquor store.

Among those details: an anonymous caller identified a man named “Keontay” as the shooter, describing the car he drove and providing its license plate number.

That information, combined with surveillance video of the suspect vehicle, led investigators to the residence of Keontay Shoemake, according to the documents. Detectives served a search warrant on Nov. 13 and seized a .22-caliber Ruger Single-Six revolver and two cellphones from his bedroom.

They took Shoemake in for questioning.

The 20-year-old told investigators he killed Bustamante, but insisted it was a mistake.

He said he circled Tommy’s Liquor early Oct. 5 after spotting Bustamante, 38, in the parking lot. He said he believed Bustamante was a Hispanic man acquainted with a rival gang member.

Shoemake called her over. She approached his vehicle, then turned away and reached into a pocket.

That “caused him concern,” Shoemake said in the documents. He pulled a gun and shot her once.

She fell and screamed, Shoemake told police. That’s when he realized he’d make a mistake, he said.

He realized he’d shot a woman.

Believing she was dying, Shoemake got out of his car and shot her once more to end her suffering, according to the documents.

Shoemake has pleaded not guilty to charges including first-degree murder and is next due in court Feb. 18. He remains in custody without bail.

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