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Shooting Sunday night appears to be gang-related

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POSTED June 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Detectives with the Manteca Police Department were in the vicinity when the shooting happened Sunday night at the West Yosemite Avenue and Union Road intersection.

Sgt. Jodie Estarziau said the detectives were “working saturation patrol” near the intersection when the shots rang out. Saturation patrol means extra officers are deployed to patrol a particular beat area of town for a variety of reasons – “looking for any gang activity, any violators, anything,” Estarziau explained. They are “basically a unit that’s not assigned to a particular beat but they’re out there for active duty,” and are available if something happens such as the shooting that erupted Sunday night.

No arrest so far has been made in connection with the shooting, and investigation is ongoing. However, according to police, this latest crime outbreak in Manteca – four shootings, seven wounded (two seriously) in just six days – does appear to be gang-related.

The block along busy Union Road between West Yosemite Avenue and Virginia Street was closed for several hours until around midnight Sunday while police officers interviewed several people who reportedly witnessed the shooting. Additional officers and detectives who ware called to assist at the scene took statements from the witnesses in the parking lot of the Weinerschnitzel fast-food restaurant just across the street from Western Dental.

A Manteca Police Department press release on Monday also stated that the detectives working on saturation patrol Sunday night “heard approximately five shots and saw two subjects running eastbound toward Western Dental” on the southeast corner of the intersection.

When the two running men reached the sidewalk in front of the dental office, “one of the subjects fell to the ground from a gunshot wound to the upper leg. Neither detective was able to pinpoint where the shots originated,” the press release further stated.

A couple who lives on Virginia Street near the busy intersection said they heard four shots. The wife, who said they have lived in the same house for 28 years, said the gunshots rang out loud in the quiet night, sending their dogs in a fit of agitation.

No firearms or shell casings were found following an extensive check of the shooting area by city units which included Manteca Fire personnel who assisted in the effort, checking several rooftops in search of a discarded firearm.

Police described Sunday’s shooting victim as a 21-year-old black male Manteca resident. He reportedly sustained only minor injuries and has been released from the hospital. While one of the detectives was giving initial first aid to the victim, the other detective detained the second man who was later released. It was the detectives who called EMS and other emergency personnel to the scene.

According to police, the victim “was not forthcoming with information to assist the investigation.”

Anyone with information about the shooting incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (209) 823-INFO.

Four shootings in six days in Manteca; one fatal in Lathrop

Sunday’s incident was the fourth shooting in six days in Manteca which is also known as The Family City.

• Thursday, June 7 – A shooting in the 400 block of Willow Avenue left five people with bullet wounds, with one man clinging to life and a toddler airlifted to UC Davis. The 9 p.m. shooting happened during a barbecue party at a residence near Southside Park.

• Wednesday, June 6 – At 1:30 a.m., police found 15 to 20 shell casings in the 300 block of Acacia Avenue in an incident that was not clear if it was a drive-by shooting. No victim was found.

• Tuesday, June 5 – A 30-year-old man was gunned down around 9:30 p.m. by someone in a “small white car.” This drive-by shooting incident happened at the other end of Virginia Street from where Sunday’s shooting took place. The victim sustained three bullet wounds to the left side of his body.

In Lathrop on Friday, June 8, at about 2 a.m., three men were shot – one fatally – just before closing time at the TX Night Club on South Harlan Road next to a hotel. Killed was Saul Salas, 28, a rapper from Stockton who had been entertaining at the club before the shooting. The other two victims were the victim’s brother, Herman, 35, and another 30-year-old man. The incident reportedly broke out following an argument inside the club where 40 to 60 people were present.

In May, two shootings and a stabbing occurred at a motel and two bars in Manteca. Shots were reportedly fired at the Best Western Inn on East Yosemite Avenue near Highway 99 on Saturday, May 26. The other shooting happened at the Extreme Sports Lounge on Pierce Avenue just east of Library Park in downtown Manteca. No suspect was located at either shooting locations. The stabbing happened at the Rusty Hook bar on Yosemite Avenue just east of Powers Avenue. No suspect was found. The stabbing was reported to be superficial.

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