Two Arrested for Murder

Antonio Esquivel

On May 22 at approximately 7:47 p.m., Antioch police received calls about a shooting victim in the 2300 block of D Street. When officers arrived, they located the victim, a 19-year-old Antioch man, on the sidewalk. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Steven Abundis

On the evening of July 12, Antioch police investigators arrested without incident Antonio Esquivel, 21, a transient whose last known address was in Pittsburg, while he was driving in Antioch. The arrest was on a warrant charging him with murder in this case.

Later that night, detectives stopped Steven Abundis, 21, of Pittsburg, while he was driving in Oakley and arrested him without incident for a warrant charging him with murder in connection with this investigation. A detective discovered a loaded 9 mm pistol concealed in the driver’s side door panel of the car. Abundis was driving the vehicle that was used during the murder, according to police. He is the owner of the car.

Abundis's AK-47

A search warrant was then served on Abundis’ home where he resides with his parents. An AK-47 style assault rifle, a .22 caliber rifle and approximately one pound of marijuana were located on the premises. These items were identified as Abundis’ property. The murder weapon in this case is still outstanding.

Investigators interviewed both men throughout the night, and Esquivel confessed to shooting and killing the victim, according to police. According to Esquivel, he and the victim did not know one another. He claims to have thrown the pistol used in the killing in the trash somewhere on Buchanan Road in Pittsburg.

Esquivel said that in October 2010 there was a confrontation between two groups of people in the area of the Antioch downtown waterfront. Esquivel and the victim were members of the opposing groups. Esquivel claimed that the victim tried to throw him off the wall above the railroad tracks.

Esquivel was able to hold on to the rail. Esquivel’s friends came to his aid and one of them stabbed the victim. Investigators have confirmed that a confrontation did occur and involved the victim of the murder.

Abundis is denying being present at the scene of the murder and claims he had no knowledge of the crime.

Investigators were able to identify both men as suspects based on information received from the public. Abundis and Esquivel are friends, and known to associate with local gang members in the West Boulevard area of Pittsburg, according to police. Investigators are continuing to work toward determining whether or not they are actually gang members.

One key piece of evidence in this case was a tattoo that Esquivel received approximately two weeks after the murder. The tattoo on his chest reads, “No warning shots.” It is believed this was a way to memorialize the murder of the victim, although Esquivel denies that was the reason he got the tattoo.

Both men have been booked at the Contra Costa County Jail. Their bails are $1 million each. Additional charges involving gang membership, the assault weapon and possession for sale of marijuana and various other charges may be added in the future.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact Detective Desmond Bittner at (925) 779-6939.

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