Police say shooting is gang related

By Greg Welter – Staff Writer, Enterprise Record
February 29, 2008

A shooting outside an east Chico apartment complex Wednesday afternoon is gang related, police announced.

Police got 9-1-1 calls around 3:30 p.m. reporting that shots had been fired in the 1600 block of Forest Avenue.

Officers arrived within minutes and saw four males running near the gymnasium at Marsh Junior High School.

They were detained at gunpoint on school grounds.

Officers learned a man who may have been shot during an altercation was seen getting into a car and leaving the area. He later turned up at Enloe Medical Center seeking treatment for a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

Investigators said the man, an 18-year-old whose name is being withheld pending completion of an investigation, claimed he was driving in the area around Humboldt Road and Forest Avenue when words were exchanged with the four males, walking on a sidewalk.

Sgt. Dave Barrow said the victim emerged from the vehicle carrying a baseball bat and the youngest male in the group, an unidentified 17-year-old, shot him.

The men fled after the shooter threw the weapon into some bushes.

The teenager who allegedly fired the shots was arrested and booked into Butte County Juvenile Hall in Oroville on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and participating in a criminal street gang.

The other men, identified as Raul Ruiz, 18, Juan Luis Chavez, 18, and Leonel Fernando Gutierrez, 19, were arrested on suspicion of participating in a criminal street gang and booked into the Butte County Jail ion Oroville.

Barrow said none of those involved in the incident live in the area where it occurred.

Though classes were done for the day, Marsh Junior High and Little Chico Creek School were briefly locked down Wednesday afternoon.

Detectives from the Chico police gang unit are continuing to investigate the shooting to determine if other charges will be filed.

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