The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for video footage of a shooting at a house party on Woodward Avenue early Saturday morning that sent seven people to the hospital.
According to Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Alan Sanchez, five of the victims of the shooting – which occurred on the 4400 block of Woodward Avenue near the intersection of Woodward Avenue and Airport Way – were transported to area hospitals where they were treated and released. The other two victims were originally listed in critical condition but have since stabilized and are expected to survive. At least two of the victims were minors, and it is unknown at this time the age of the people who are still hospitalized as a result of their injuries.
Because of the pandemonium that occurred once the shooting started – which happened shortly after midnight when reportedly a slim African American male in a black hooded sweatshirt started shooting into the crowd of people at the massive house party – the responding officers were forced to render aid to those that were injured while paramedics were dispatched to the scene.
Because of that investigatory delay, Sanchez said that the agency is now asking anyone who may have been at the party and captured footage of the shooting, the immediate aftermath, or the minutes before it started to come forward. Videos have been circulating on social media, Sanchez said, and while the relatively young crowd has been apprehensive to talk to police about the incident, he stressed that those that provide information that may lead to the identity of the shooter will be able to remain anonymous.
“We know that there’s a code among young people to not want to ‘snitch’ on anybody and there may be some fear involved in coming forward on this,” Sanchez said. “But if anybody has information, they can reach out to us and stay anonymous the entire time.
“If it’s a social media post that they provide, there are ways that we can remove any identifying handles or marks that would show where that information came from, and anything that is provided will be beneficial to the investigation.”
The initial call of the shooting was radioed in by a California Highway Patrol officer that was involved in a traffic stop nearby and heard the gunshots, and a large contingent of Manteca police officers and sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene shortly thereafter.
Sanchez confirmed the reports from neighboring property owners that the site of the party is a house that recently was made available for short-term rentals – popularized on applications that allow customers to rent houses out for the night for prices comparable to that of an average hotel room.
While detectives are currently working leads to try and identify the shooter and piece together what happened, the logistical situation when officers arrived early Saturday morning made it difficult to get statements from witnesses who fled the scene when the shooting started.
“What is making this difficult is that when deputies showed up, they had to render aid and secure the scene and people were running for their lives when the shooting started,” Sanchez said. “By the time that deputies were able to begin processing the scene, people could already be a different county – that’s why we’re asking people to provide anything that may be beneficial to the investigation.”
Anybody with video footage or pictures that may be beneficial to investigators are encouraged to call 209.468.4400 and press Option 1. Those that call may remain anonymous if they so choose, and Sanchez stressed that anything provided as evidence will be kept confidential and any identifying marks on the evidence will be removed to protect the identity of those cooperating with police.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.