The headlines are shattering.
A 17-year-old gunned down in a city park. An 11-year-old shot in the head. Two young males hit by exchanged gunfire right around the corner from an elementary school.
And to the Manteca Police Department they present two major challenges – determining who was initially responsible and preventing them, and the accompany retaliation, that come with them.
That’s exactly what Acting Police Chief John Orcutt is overseeing right now.
The Manteca Police Department Captain, who is stepping in to take the reins for Chief Nick Obligacion, who is on vacation, says that not only is the city’s gang unit investigating the shootings – at least two of which have been tied to gang activity – but the city’s homicide investigators have been actively chasing leads to determine who is responsible for the death of 17-year-old Marcos Garcia.
None of them, Orcutt said, were random.
“The thing these shootings is that they’ve all occurred with people that knew them or that they’re associated with on a personal level,” Orcutt said. “None of these have been random shootings. They’ve all been about disputes or specific to the relationships of the individuals.
“We had an instance last week where people went to meet to conduct some sort of business or transaction and somehow it changed. The people knew each other and knew that there was an inherent risk in their meeting but they met anyway and it went bad for them.”
Orcutt said that detectives have solid leads on determining who killed Garcia, and that cases like that are “highly solvable” because of the nature of those involved – most of whom, he said, are active gang members.
That’s where the special unit comes in.
Currently the city has three gang investigators and a sergeant dedicated specifically to handling gang cases. In Garcia’s case, homicide investigators take the lead and any and all ties are fed back through special units. The Street Crimes Unit, Orcutt said, also plays a role in determining what’s taking place on the street and trying to quell any situations before they arrive.
Early Sunday morning police were dispatched to a home on Glenn Drive where they discovered 11-year-old Hunter Davis, who had been shot in the head. His 17-year-old brother was also shot – allegedly by another 17-year-old who was taken into custody. Davis was taken to an area hospital and then airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and is in critical condition.
Davis’ case, Orcutt said, was a little bit different than the others because they were able to take somebody into custody almost immediately. But it did share a common thread – the shooter knew the person that they were shooting at.
“They’re obviously of concern to the public, and they’re of concern to us as well,” he said. “But we do have relatively few of those, and we’re pretty good at solving them. And they’re never random”