A gang member was convicted of murder Thursday in the shooting of a motorist in Delano last summer.

Jose Medrano, 23, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The incident for which Medrano, a Norteno gang member, was arrested at first appeared to be a traffic crash, prosecutors said.

At about 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 24, 2016, Delano police were dispatched to 11th Avenue and Glenwood Street to a report of a crash. Orlando Morales, 34, of McFarland, was found dead inside a vehicle and police believed the crash caused his death.

But coroner's officials found that Morales suffered a single gunshot wound before the crash, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a building. Detectives later determined the shooting occurred in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on 11th Avenue, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, Medrano reached over the front passenger side of a moving vehicle and fired two shots at Medrano. 

Sentencing is set for June 16. 

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