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Sheriff identifies man who allegedly shot woman bringing kid home

Jessica Orozco, shown with her nephew, James, in an undated photo, was pronounced dead at KRMC after sheriff's deputies responded to a weapons offense late Oct. 27 in Golden Valley. (Courtesy)

Jessica Orozco, shown with her nephew, James, in an undated photo, was pronounced dead at KRMC after sheriff's deputies responded to a weapons offense late Oct. 27 in Golden Valley. (Courtesy)

GOLDEN VALLEY – The man who allegedly fired the shot that killed Jessica Mae Orozco on the night of Oct. 27 has been identified and the investigation is ongoing, Mohave County Sheriff’s Office reported Tuesday.

Gerald Richardson, 57, told detectives he was asleep at his home in the 1100 block of Concho Drive when Orozco arrived to bring a child home from a birthday party.

He wasn’t expecting anyone and believed the person trying to enter his residence through the front door was an intruder. He fired one shot from a handgun that struck Orozco, who was transported to Kingman Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Deputies responded to a weapons offense around midnight on Oct. 27 and arrived to see firefighters performing CPR on the victim.

Orozco, 31, was a range scientist for the Hualapai Tribe in Peach Springs, and had gained custody of her 10-year-old nephew, James. She had moved Kingman about two years ago.

Neither of the two children who were present at the residence were injured.

Sheriff Doug Schuster said the case is active and has been submitted to the County Attorney pending criminal charges against Richardson.

A GoFundMe account has been established for James to assist with funeral expenses and for his future. The fund is at www.gofundme.com/jessica-m-orozco-fund-for-james.

Friends, family and colleagues of Orozco set up the funding campaign to help James, “who has a long road ahead, but we can help with his healing by bringing Jessica’s wide-reaching community together to secure funds for him now, and into the future,” the web site states.

Terri Hutchens, station manager at KWLP in Peach Springs where Orozco was the volunteer “DJ Bloom,” said the boy is presently in custody of Arizona Department of Child Safety in Kingman.

Hutchens said the Hualapai Tribe is a “generous employer,” and Orozco will receive some benefits, but it’s her understanding that a representative must be appointed before James can obtain benefits.

Condolence cards and letters may be sent to James, c/o Amanda Runkel, at 519 E. Beale St., Kingman, AZ 86409.

KWLP “The Peach” hosted a sendoff tribute show for Orozco on Oct. 30 with testimonials from the staff and volunteers. They also read some of the comments posted by her hundreds of friends on Facebook.

KWLP has already retired her show, “Alternative Oasis,” and will not be filling it with a different show host, “which is something we would possibly do had she left the show under different circumstances,” Hutchens said.

The radio station will share pertinent and appropriate information about services for Orozco and the fate of her adopted nephew.

“I imagine many of us will follow and attend court hearings and certainly make statements at any sentencing,” Hutchens said.