Fresno murder suspect accused of killing own mother dies in shootout with police in Southern California


FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A Fresno man accused in the murder of his mother is dead, following a shooting in Southern California on Monday.

Law enforcement in the City of Montclair, in Pomona Valley, say officers pulled over 34-year-old Nick Costales during a traffic stop. The car was reported stolen and belonged to Costales’s mother, police said.

Pomona Police says there was a shootout between Costales and police after they say Costales got out of his car and began shooting at officers.

RELATED: Fresno murder suspect shot by police after opening fire on officers in Montclair, police say

“We had put a broadcast out the description of it, the year, make, model, license plate number and officers were able to locate that and followed it into the city of Montclair,” said Lt. Larry Bowlan with the Fresno Police Department.

Police say 59-year-old Thelma Vasquez was discovered dead over the weekend in Fresno. 

“The mother was found inside her residence, she had not answered her phone calls for a couple of days, had not gone to a family gathering that many of the family members expected her to be at,” Bowlan said.

RELATED: Fresno man shot and killed in Montclair officer-involved shooting after his mother found dead

Police say that’s when family went to Vasquez’s home near Ashlan and Valentine, entered through the back gate and found her body inside.

Bowlan says Vasquez was dead at least two to four days.

“Homicide detectives arrives on scene and took over the investigation, they noticed immediately the victim had sustain severe trauma to the upper body,” he said.

Bowlan says Costales, a former Marine, lived with his mother and was known to have violent tendencies.

“That behavior consisted of family speaking with us, they new him to have violent tendencies, he was also a drug user and he also had bi-polar condition,” Bowlan said.

Police say Costales confessed to killing his mother, the motive is still unclear.

“Homicide detectives after speaking with family members were able to record a phone conversation that Nick had and in that conversation Nick Costales admitted to killing his mother,” Bowlan said.

An autopsy on Vasquez is being done to determine how she was killed.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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