Sheriff: San Benito student killed by best friend

SAN BENITO — A 17-year-old San Benito high school student died after he was shot in the chest last night, Sheriff Omar Lucio said.

Francisco Cortina, a senior, was pronounced dead at Valley Baptist Medical Center.

A friend of Cortina, Ramon Saldivar Jr., 18, called the sheriff’s office about 8:25 p.m. last night and said he was playing with a .40-caliber pistol when he accidentally shot Cortina in the chest, Lucio said today.

The shooting occurred at a home in the 200 block of Ranchito Road, off of U.S. 281, in the El Ranchito area, Lucio said.

After officers arrived at the scene, Saldivar was taken into custody, Lucio said.

He has been charged with manslaughter “for recklessly causing the death” of Cortina, the sheriff said.

His bond has been set at $125,000.