A 14-year-old girl was killed and three other juveniles injured in what is thought to be a gang-related drive-by shooting, Morgan Hill police said today. The group of teens was standing in a grassy area near an apartment complex when the shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m., said Captain Jerry Neumayer. Police responding to the scene found four juveniles, including a 14-year-old Morgan Hill girl who was declared dead at the scene. A 14-year-old San Jose girl and a 15-year-old Morgan Hill boy suffered gunshot wounds to the leg and a 14-year-old San Jose girl received a gunshot wound to her stomach, Neumayer said.
The two girls were taken to Valley Medical Center, and the boy was taken to San Jose Regional Hospital, where he was treated and released. Police spotted a suspect vehicle fleeing the scene and followed it to an address on Barnell Avenue. The suspects were persuaded to surrender and five people were taken into custody without further incident. Those arrested include Esmeling Bahena, 18, from Morgan Hill, Ricardo Diaz, 19, of Morgan Hill, Fernando Mateo, 20, from Gilroy, Primitivo Hernandez, 23 and a 17-year-old Morgan Hill boy.
Police are treating the shooting as gang related, but Neumayer said they did not believe the victims were gang members. “We believe the shooters are gang members,” Neumayer said. “We don’t believe the victims are affiliated with any gangs, they just happened to be in the wrong location at the wrong time.” The last homicide in Morgan Hill took place Oct. 2, 2009, when Juan Jose Arrellano, Jr., a 24-year-old Hollister resident, was killed in a gang-related shooting.
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