Police Arrest Four in Drive-by Shooting of 15-Year-Old Saturday morning

Police arrested four alleged gang members Saturday, hours after they reportedly shot a 15-year-old on Murray Street off Seabright Avenue at 1:30 a.m.

The gang members were stopped in Aptos after a high-speed chase from Seventh Avenue. A joint effort by the California Highway Patrol, Capitola Police, the Sheriff's Office and Santa Cruz Police led to the arrest of four people, aged 15, 20, 25 and 27, after their car ran over a spike strip on Clubhouse Drive in Aptos.

While Santa Cruz Police were responding to a call for help from the shooting victim, California Highway Patrol officers saw a car speeding at 7th Avenue and Eaton Street. They began a pursuit that led to Clubhouse Drive in Aptos, where officers had set up a spike strip to stop the speeding car.

The occupants of the car fled when it stopped. Two were picked up in yards by the team of officers. Two others were captured later with help from a Police K-9. 

Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said that the suspects are Norteño gang members from Watsonville. The victim was flown to a trauma center with multiple gunshot wounds.

"Our biggest concern with gang violence is collateral danger to the community, innocent bystanders being caught up in the violence," said Deputy Chief Steve Clark. "This incident really underscores how the gang problem is really a regional problem. Not just Santa Cruz or Watsonville, but the whole Central Coast."

Clark said crime numbers are going down, but the violence seems to be going up.
And, he added that the court system is releasing people too soon. One of the suspects in this case was released from prison as part of the early release cost-cutting prison programs. 

beviej August 11, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Four armed "children" against one unarmed person. The cowards strike again.
Steve Pleich August 11, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Once again our community is being plagued by gun violence and yet we still seemed focused on the symptoms and not the disease. From my first day of law school I had a running argument with my Constitutional Law professor about the 2nd Amendment and the public perception that the right to bear arms was constitutionally protected. I argued that the right to arm oneself was necessary at a time when citizens had no other means of safeguarding themselves and their homes. But in today's world we have police forces and standing armies for exactly that purpose. Like the license to operate a motor vehicle, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right, and as such must be exercised responsibly. When we accept this basic premise and act accordingly, we will be one step closer to preventing gun violence in our community. Steve Pleich Santa Cruz
Sylvia Lazo August 11, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Once again, hats off and cheers to the many different law enforcement officers who worked together to get the bad guys off the street! great job, may thanks to them all!
John August 12, 2013 at 12:09 AM
What great reactions by the cops. What low lifes these four punks are. Supposed men shooting at a kid? Seriously? They should all be castrated. Short of capital punishment, but would at least take away their macho swagger. Execution probably does not work as a deterrent, but taking away their perceived manhood would probably make a lot of these punks think twice before picking on a kid.
David H. Perez August 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM
@Steve Pleich - Legal gun owners are not the problem. Do you really think any of these gangster criminal punks legally owned the gun that was used? I am not a gun freak or anything, but I do not see penalizing responsible and sane sportspeople and people who want to be able to defend themselves in their own homes, just because of the behavior of gangster scum like these people. I am completely in favor of stepping up the requirements to purchase a gun, including a psychological evaluation. But remember the old saying: "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."


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