The Kern County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest early Saturday morning in the fatal shooting of Delano businessman Jakov Dulcich.
The department said that Delano resident Mariano Fernandez Perez was identified as a suspect in the April 11 shooting during an investigation. Perez was arrested by deputies from the Lamont substation during a traffic stop on Saturday. He has been booked into the Kern County Jail on suspicion of murder.
Dulcich, 84, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds about 8:30 a.m. in the area of Woollomes Avenue and South Browning Road, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Investigators learned that Dulcich's SUV and the suspect vehicle had been traveling on South Browning Road when an occupant of the suspect vehicle fired into Dulcich's SUV. The SUV continued south on Browning and hit another vehicle.
The suspect vehicle drove to the scene of the crash and got into a physical altercation with the driver of the third vehicle, according to the department. The suspect shot at least one round at the driver but did not hit them. The driver fled into a nearby vineyard.
The Sheriff's Office didn't say whether they are pursing other suspects in the case.
Dulcich is the founder of Dulcich & Sons, a farming company known for its grapes. According to the company website, Dulcich and his wife emigrated to the United States from Croatia and, after spending a year in Chile, settled in Delano in 1960.
They worked in vineyards owned by Dulcich’s uncle until they had saved enough money to buy 80 acres of farmland in Delano in 1975.
Dulcich & Sons has grown since then. The company now has more than 2,600 acres of farmland and multiple storage facilities covering tens of thousands of square feet.