West Mich. Most Wanted: Alberto Bautista, Attempted Murder

ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, Mich. –  On April 1, 2006 Uriel Hernandez was shot in the face and lived to tell police who pulled the trigger.  Hernandez said his co-worker Alberto Bautista was person responsible.

Bautista is considered one of West Michigan Most Wanted by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

The 28-year-old is wanted for attempted murder.  According to Lt. Mark Bennett, with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, Bautista does have ties to West Michigan but it’s likely he is no longer in the area.

“Our latest and best information is that he may be in the Southern US, possibly Mexico,” said Lt. Bennett.

For nearly seven years, Bautista has been on the run.

On Friday, April  1, 2006, Police said Bautista and his co-worker Hernandez, were splitting a case of beer at a home on 120th just North of Lake Michigan Drive.   Lt. Bennett said the two started arguing about cars when Bautista lost his temper.

“He was shot point-blank in the forehead,” said Lt. Bennett.  “The bullet didn’t penetrate his skull.”

Standing just three feet apart, the shot dropped Hernandez to the ground.

Lt. Bennett said Bautista wasn’t done, “The suspect stands over him and fires two more rounds.”

The shots hit Hernandez in the neck.  Instead of calling 9-1-1, the victim’s family drives him to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

“St. Mary’s called the authorities and that how we were first alerted of this incident,” said Lt. Bennett.

By then, the shooter had a head start on police.

The victim had survived the attack and was able to tell police all he could about the shooting.

Police also interviewed about a half dozen witnesses who saw the shooting take place.

Bautista was already in the Ottawa County judicial system for a misdemeanor alcohol charge in 2003.  His name is also in a national law enforcement database.

Lt. Bennett said, “We haven’t had any leads for quite some time and by that I mean shortly after the shooting.  It appears as if he may have vanished.”

Anyone with information on Alberto Bautista is asked to give the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department a call at (616) 738-4000.

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