In the latest in a string of gang-related attacks in Lodi, two suspected gang members were shot early Monday morning near Garfield Street and a member of a rival gang was later arrested.
The victims were taken to Sacramento-area hospitals. One was shot in the back and is expected to recover; another was shot in the head and is suffering with what are considered life-threatening injuries.
Monday morning’s incident brings the total to more than 20 gang-related shootings or stabbings in the last 35 days, said Detective Eric Bradley of the Lodi Police Department.
Monday’s first shooting occurred when a male and female — both suspected by police to be Norteños — were walking down an alley off North Garfield Street at about 2:15 a.m.
They were confronted by suspected Sureño gang members, who asked for their gang affiliation and then opened fire, said Detective Larry Fluty of the Lodi Police Department.
One suspect shot the male, striking him in the back. The victim was taken to a Sacramento-area hospital for treatment, Fluty said. His wounds are not believed to be life-threatening but police said the victim is unable to feel his legs.
More shots were fired seconds later, when a white sedan approached the area. The vehicle was apparently there to pick up the male and female before the initial shooting took place. The shooter is believed to have opened fire when he saw the driver wearing a red bandana, police said.
The driver, who police said is a Norteño, was hit once in the back and once in the head, police said. The vehicle drove into a small tree in the front yard of a Garfield Street home before coming to a stop. The victim has been transported to a Sacramento-area hospital and is being treated for life-threatening wounds, police said. One bullet struck the driver in the left eye, police said.
Officers apprehended a suspected Sureño gang member, Ranulfo Gomez, 33, who police believe was with the shooter at the time of the incident.
Gomez was taken into custody after police executed a search warrant on the 500 block of East Pine Street around 5 a.m., said Sgt. Doug Chinn of the Lodi Police Department. People were asked to leave residences while police conducted a search and Gomez was identified as one of the suspects by witnesses during that time, Chinn said. Police later searched the apartment from which Gomez and the shooter emerged before the victims were shot. No arrests were made during the search and no weapons were found inside, police said.
The suspect is still at large and no details on his size or appearance are currently available. Police are treating the investigation as an attempted homicide, Fluty said. No shell casings were found on the scene and all parties involved in the shooting are believed to be in their late 20s to early 30s, police said.
Anyone with information on the shooting can call Lodi Area Crimestoppers’ anonymous tipline at 333-6771.
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.