Shooting injures 3 people in north Visalia
ERIC WOOMER (Visalia-Times Delta) | June 9, 2011
A Visalia man was clinging to life and two other people were injured after an early-morning shooting Wednesday at a north Visalia apartment complex.
Witnesses said two men, at least one armed with a shotgun, approached three people who were sitting and drinking beer in a parking lot of the complex about 2:30 a.m.
At least six to eight shots were fired before the assailants ran away, witnesses told the Times-Delta.
Oscar “Boots” Arzate, 19, was on life support at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, a hospital spokeswoman said. Arzate was shot in the head, witnesses said. Dozens gathered at the complex for a candlelight vigil Wednesday night that paid tribute to Arzate.
“He was a friend. He was family,” said Javier Arredondo, a friend of Arzate. “We are here to honor him and help him pull through.”
Joseph Nunez, 26, and his girlfriend, Mary Anna Duenas, 18, were also shot. Nunez was shot in the arm and face, while Duenas was shot in the stomach, witnesses said. Both were released from Kaweah Delta Medical Center on Wednesday.
Nunez’s father, Richard Nunez, said he’s sick and tired of violence near his home. He organized the vigil because, he said, “no one deserves to die this way, this young.”
“We’re all going to miss him. He stopped and shook the hand of everyone around him,” he said. “I tell all the boys here, ‘Keep your eyes open; you never know when your enemy is near.’ This was a life that shouldn’t have been lost.”
People gathered throughout the day at the complex in the 300 block of N.E. Fourth Avenue, where police spent nearly 10 hours gathering evidence and statements.
Several reminders of the shooting remained at the scene, including Arzate’s bike, broken glass, several vehicles riddled with bullets and potholes filled with blood in the asphalt.
Richard Nunez urged several boys and men at the scene not to retaliate, but said he knows it’s coming. Arzate is believed to be a member or associate of a gang.
Tags: apartment shooting, Joseph Nunez, Oscar "Boots" Arzate, Visalia