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Shasta gang rumble ends in knifing
Park fight mars tranquil setting next to school
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Two assault suspects believed to be members to a Sureño gang stand at the curb in handcuffs in a street-side lineup in the 1200 block of Armstrong Drive located behind Doctors Hospital. - photo by GLENN KAHL
A gang fight at Shasta Park ended with a knifing late Wednesday afternoon.

Police and fire department medics found a 16-year-old boy in the basin area of Shasta Park at about 5:45 p.m. with a knife laceration to his arm that witnesses said was caused when he raised his arm to defend himself from the slashing motions of a knife wielded by a teen gang member.

Police arrived within minutes with one patrolman soon apprehending two of five suspects a half mile away. Police said the aggressors were believed to be Sureño gang members. The victim was wearing a red-colored Norteño shirt.

The park gets heavy use by nearby residents who use it to take walks, take their children to play or simply taking it easy lying around and chatting in one of the two storm basin bowls.

Gang incidents up until now had been unusual in Shasta Park.

Police and park officials last year improved lighting due to concerns that parts of the 9.6-acre park were hard to see by patrol units driving by or even neighbors in early evening hours.

Witnesses said a group of five males had been sitting around a park bench above the basin depression in the park and near the fence to Shasta School as well as new playground equipment where they had left several bicycles as they ran from the scene after the knifing.
The group in the large basin area of the park included the victim, two other boys and two girls who were not injured in the assault.

Patrolman Jason Massey came upon two of the suspects walking on Armstrong Drive some 10 to 15 minutes after the incident occurred.  Massey called for backup and they were placed in handcuffs with the arrival of undercover officers from the Street Crimes Unit.

The two suspects were told to stand up to allow witnesses in a moving patrol car to identify them without being seen.  One of the boys taunted the witnesses from across the street.

It was that teen who had a large drop of blood on the shin of his right leg that officers were interested in securing for its DNA as a match to the victim.

A community service officer was called to Armstrong to swab the blood for future evidence.  Police said they believe as many as three other boys remain outstanding in the investigation.

The two who were arrested were transported to county juvenile hall at about 8:30 Wednesday night.  The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of his wound.