An Oxnard man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting another man at a bus stop years earlier, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
Christopher Gaston was convicted of first-degree murder last month for the 2016 killing of Christopher Camper. Senior Deputy DA Tate McCallister said Gaston committed the murder out of revenge.
Gaston, a drug dealer, believed Camper had stolen drugs and money from him years earlier and surveillance videos shows the two got into an argument just 20 minutes before the deadly shooting on June 25, 2016, McCallister said.
McCallister said Gaston was “stalking” the victim for around 15 minutes before the killing — getting in and out of his vehicle and re-parking it multiple times as he watched him from a parking lot near the corner of Ventura and Gonzalez roads.
About 5:15 p.m. that evening, prosecutors said, Gaston drove up to a bus stop where Camper was standing and opened fire.
He remained seated in the driver’s seat while shooting five to six rounds from a .45-caliber pistol, according to McCallister. Camper was struck three times and died.
Gaston then fled the scene, hid his car and had the weapon used to kill Camper dismantled and discarded, McCallister said.
He was identified by Oxnard police as the suspect within hours of the shooting.
Witnesses at the scene were able to identify the Cadillac DeVille Gaston was driving, describing it as having a distinct set of rims and a dent, McCallister said. They also identified Gaston as the shooter based on his clothing and appearance.
He was definitively linked to the killing when investigators found a bullet in his car, which had also been shot, that matched with bullets found lodged in Camper’s body, according to McCallister. The bullets had been fired from the same gun, he said.
Some evidence and testimony at trial indicated the allegation about Camper stealing from Gaston may have been true, McCallister said.