Monday, 24 June 2024

Clearlake Oaks man accused of fatally shooting brother

CLEARLAKE OAKS – Authorities reported Tuesday that a fight between two brothers last weekend escalated into a confrontation that resulted in the fatal shooting of one of them.



Alberto Alejandro Montes, 24, is alleged to have shot to death his brother Rafael Montes, 26, during an argument last Saturday night at Alberto Montes' Pomo Drive home at the Elem Indian Colony, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Alberto Montes was arrested Saturday night, as Lake County News has reported. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on a murder charge with bail set at $500,000.

According to Bauman's report, the Northshore Fire Protection District and Cal Fire responded to the area of Sulphur Bank Drive and Pomo Drive on a report of a vegetation fire.

About 30 minutes after fire personnel arrived at the scene of the approximately half-acre grass fire located off of Pomo Drive, the sheriff's dispatch began receiving calls reporting a man had been shot by his brother during a fight about the fire at a home on Pomo Drive, Bauman said.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at the Pomo Drive home where the shooting was reported, Alberto Montes immediately came out of the home with his hands in the air and was detained without incident, Bauman said.

Inside the home, Bauman said deputies found the mens' sisters, Rebecca and Nora Montes, and their mother, Brenda Geary. Two of the women were tending to Rafael Montes, who was on the kitchen floor with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Northshore Fire Battalion Chief Pat Brown said that a Northshore Fire advanced life support engine was pulled from the fire and responded to the shooting on a medical call.

Firefighters and deputies attempted to treat Rafael Montes, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, Bauman said.

Deputies recovered the weapon they believe Alberto Montes used – a .22-caliber rifle – Bauman said.

Bauman said that, according to witness statements given to investigators, Rafael Montes, his two sisters and mother had arrived at Alberto Montes' home, at which time a trash fire outside was burning. About 20 minutes later, it had gotten out of control.

Alberto Montes, his sisters and mother attempted to put the fire out, and at one point he allegedly went into the house and began arguing with Rafael Montes because he reportedly didn't believe his brother was offering any help in the situation, according to Bauman.

The argument escalated to the point where Alberto Montes allegedly went to his room, got the .22 rifle and returned to confront his brother, Bauman said.

Rafael Montes, who reportedly had been drinking, taunted his brother to use the weapon and Alberto Montes is alleged to have fired one shot, striking him in the chest, Bauman said.

Bauman said an autopsy on Rafael Montes is scheduled to be performed on Wednesday morning at the Napa County Coroner’s Office.

The grass fire believed to be the source of the argument was contained after after about an hour, with fire units clearing the scene shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday, Bauman said.

Northshore Fire Chief Jim Robbins said Tuesday that the Lake County Arson Task Force was investigating the fire.

Arson investigators had turned over to the sheriff's office the information they had. Robbins said they didn't know who lit the fire in a small pile of trash next to the house.

“Our investigation will continue a little bit on it,” he said.

Alberto Montes is tentatively scheduled to be in court for arraignment on Wednesday, according to District Attorney Jon Hopkins.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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