South Lake Tahoe man dies after accidentally shooting himself with handgun, police say

A South Lake Tahoe man died over the weekend after he accidentally shot himself in the head with a handgun inside his home, police said.

The shooting was reported shortly after 6 p.m. Friday at the home in the 700 block of James Avenue, just north of Emerald Bay Road. Dispatchers received a 911 call reporting a single gunshot inside the home and a possible wounded victim.

Officers arrived at the home and found Julio Rojas Cruz, 37, with a single gunshot wound to the head, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department announced Monday in a news release. Authorities immediately provided Cruz aid before he was taken in an ambulance to Barton Memorial Hospital where he died from his injuries.

Detectives were called to investigate the fatal shooting and later determined Cruz suffered a self-inflicted fatal injury “as a result of a negligent discharge of a 9mm handgun,” police said.

Investigators served a search warrant at the home and found an AR-15 rifle, along with various ammunition, in the bedroom of Cruz’s roommate, 35-year-old Noe Blanco Corea, according to the news release.

Police said Corea is a convicted felon and not allowed to possess firearms and ammunition. Investigators arrested Corea on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition. On Monday afternoon, Corea remained in custody at the El Dorado County Jail with his bail set at $85,000.