Maria didn’t see the fight along Maple Street in Lodi that left one man seriously injured with several gunshot wounds Thursday night. But her 5-year-old son did.
“He saw everything,” said Maria. As with other witnesses interviewed for this story, she declined to be named out of safety concerns.
A 22-year-old man is recovering in Lodi Memorial Hospital after suffering three gunshot wounds, including two in the stomach, around 8:45 p.m. Thursday, said Lodi Police Sgt. Sierra Brucia. While the investigation into the incident is still ongoing, witnesses gave these accounts of the shooting.
Looking out the living room window with his mother only steps away, the young boy watched two men arguing on the sidewalk in front of his house, he later told his mom.
The fight turned physical. Then it escalated.
Shots rang out. One of the men had reached behind, pulled out a gun and fired roughly six rounds, Maria said. The victim collapsed and the shooter ran, vanishing into the dimly lit neighborhood.
Terrified, Maria pulled her son away from the window, shielding his eyes from the haunting scene.
Another neighbor with two children said she heard several shots, then screams.
The victim gathered himself and stumbled away from the scene, while a woman he was with followed close behind.
He walked slowly around the corner to Washington Street, hands pressed against his stomach to slow the bleeding. He laid down on a nearby lawn in front of an apartment building, a renter said.
The renter saw the victim lying in his yard and went outside.
“(The victim) was pretty calm about it,” said the man. “He was just telling people he’d been shot and needed people to help him.”
People from all around came to his aid. One woman held a shirt against his wounds until an ambulance arrived.
The witness was shocked, but tried to keep the victim and his female friend calm.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” he said. “I was telling (the victim) to calm down and telling the lady he was with to calm down.”
Police and paramedics responded and took the victim to Lodi Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery, Brucia said. Police said they believe the victim is a gang member, but they are unclear whether the shooting was gang-related.
Police have identified a suspect in relation to the shooting and are searching for him, Brucia said. The suspect’s identity has not been released.
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.