Authorities in Morgan Hill are investigating whether three apparent gang-related attacks Friday night, including a fatal shooting, are connected, police said today. The first incident, an assault, was reported around 8:15 p.m. Friday at a bus stop in the area of Hale and Main avenues. A suspect who appeared to be in his late teens approached a 16-year-old boy in a vehicle and asked him if he was in a gang, according to police. The boy answered that he was not involved in a gang, but because he was wearing a red T-shirt,the suspect punched and kicked him, police said.The victim suffered injuries to his spleen and was transported to a hospital, and the suspect left before police arrived.Then at about 11 p.m., Gilroy police notified Morgan Hill police about a stabbing involving Jerry Devito, a 31-year-old Gilroy resident who was taken to a hospital in Gilroy for injuries he suffered in a stabbing in Morgan Hill. Devito told officers that he was approached by four males near a Safeway store around 9 p.m., according to police. The suspects suddenly attacked him while yelling “Sur,” meaning “south” in Spanish. Devito said he believes it might have been a gang slur, although he is not affiliated with any gangs, police said. Devito suffered 14 stab wounds, but was able to go to a nearby bar where a friend called a cab to take him to a hospital. The suspects fled before police arrived.Devito told police he might have been targeted because of a red star tattoo on his face representing northern California. He was treated for lacerations and puncture wounds and has since been released from the hospital.At about 11:20 p.m., police responded to a report of shots fired in front of the Crest Avenue Apartments on 17659 Crest Ave. Arriving officers found a 24-year-old man fatally shot on the sidewalk. He was later identified as Juan Jose Arrellano Jr., from Hollister. The Santa Clara County sheriff K-9 unit and San Jose Police Department assisted Morgan Hill police in searching for the suspects. Witness testimonies and evidence at the scene indicate that at least two males, between 16 and 20 years old and wearing dark blue clothing, were involved in the shooting. Witnesses reported hearing the suspects exchanging gang-related slurs with Arrellano prior to the shooting, according to police.Police are investigating whether the three incidents are connected. Morgan Hill police Cmdr. Joe Sampson said there has been a recent spike of gang-related incidents in Morgan Hill, which experienced a drop in such crimes in 2008 that continued well throughout most of this year.Sampson said Morgan Hill police will coordinate with San Jose and Gilroy police in an effort to “share resources and intelligence and try to quickly address these issues.” “We’re working around the clock to work leads, interview people and keep our level of suppression activities up,” Sampson said.Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact Detective Greg Dini (408) 779-2101 or Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP (7867).
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