Man wanted in connection to his mother’s killing in Fresno dies after shootout with Pomona police

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A Fresno man wanted as a person of interest in the killing of his mother has died following a gunbattle with Pomona police earlier this week in Montclair, according to KTLA sister station KSEE/KGPE in Fresno.

Nick Costales is seen in an undated photo released by the Fresno Police Department.
Nick Costales is seen in an undated photo released by the Fresno Police Department.

Nick Costales, 34, was spotted driving his mother’s car Monday afternoon in Southern California, and a pursuit ensued, officials in Fresno said. Pomona police said they and another agency were tracking the vehicle at the time.

Costales pulled over on Monte Vista Avenue just south of the 10 Freeway, got out of the car and began firing at officers, Pomona police Chief Michael Ellis said.

Multiple officers returned fire, and Costales was wounded in a shootout. He was hospitalized following the gunbattle and later died at the hospital, officials said.

Fresno police say they’d been looking for Costales since around 9 p.m. Sunday, when family members discovered his 59-year-old mother, Thelma Vasquez, dead at a house in the 3100 block of Tamera Avenue. 

Costales allegedly admitted to killing his mother during a recorded phone conversation.

According to police, the victim’s car was missing along with her son. A bulletin was released in a statewide broadcast.

Montclair police are continuing to investigate Costales’s shooting with assistance from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

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