Teen charged with Pismo Beach murder

August 3, 2023


The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office charged a 15-year-old male in July for homicide and for associating with a criminal street gang.after he allegedly shot and killed a Fresno man in Pismo Beach in the pier promenade area during an altercation with strangers last February.

Shortly before midnight on Feb. 18, four Hispanic men and several women confronted Gustavo Aquino, 40, claiming he had a possible gang affiliation. During the verbal argument, the four Hispanic men tried to engage the victim and his friends in a physical fight.

Armed with a firearm, the 15-year-old then joined the group and confronting the victim. The 15-year-old shot Aquino multiple times from a close distance.

The suspects then fled the scene in an older model Chevy Silverado.

The SLO County District Attorney’s Office charged the 15-year-old with homicide and gang affiliation. He is being held without bail.

Another participant in the altercation, 19-year-old Daniel Santillana, is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon and association with a street gang. He remains in jail with his bail set at $90,000. The driver, 19-year-old Anthony Hernandez, is charged with accessory to the commission of a felony. His bail is set at $20,000.

This was the first shooting-related homicide in Pismo Beach since March of 2006, when an armed man entered the Denny’s restaurant on Five Cities Drive and murdered two victims before taking his own life.

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That culture is a very dangerous one.

It’s hard to fathom that a kid the same age as a high school freshman can get so wrapped up in thuggery, substance abuse, criminal racketeering and murder. He probably wasn’t active in school sports, the marching band or the Chess Club. I guess the FFA, scouting or a model rocket club was probably not in the equation, either. Strong work there, Mom or Dad. Good job. /s

My buddy and I, started a model rocket club at SLO Junior High, in the early 70’s. I think we had around 20 guys, and girls, that would meet after school, and launch on the big sports field. That was fun, and guided me to a long career of blowing things up. Made a good living at it!

Probably didn’t wait his turn on the slide…