Police are seeking an unknown number of suspects in a drive-by shooting Wednesday outside a motel in Santa Cruz who escaped during a 13-mile car chase, police said today.
At about 7 p.m. Wednesday, witnesses flagged down Santa Cruz police officers and reported a shooting at a motel near San Lorenzo Boulevard and Canfield Avenue, Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said.
The witnesses told officers that suspects inside a white compact car had confronted three males in the parking lot of the Budget Motel at 110 San Lorenzo Blvd. and shot at them, Clark said.
Police recovered bullet casings and located the holes from five bullets that struck the motel’s office and living area.
Both areas were occupied at the time and one of the slugs narrowly missed hitting a person who was in the living quarters watching television, but no one was injured in the shooting, Clark said.
Police Officer Jason Kelley, who responded to the area, spotted the suspects’ car heading north on the 1500 block of Ocean Street but when Kelley tried to stop it, the driver turned onto Grant Street, circled the neighborhood and drove onto state Highway 17.
Santa Cruz police drove after the car for about 13 miles, when the suspected driver crashed through cones set up at a road construction site north of Granite Creek Road in Scotts Valley, damaging the front end of the car.
In view of the extreme reckless driving and high rate of speed by the driver in the unoccupied construction site, police decided to end the pursuit and the suspect car left the area.
Later, police responded to a front yard in the 400 block of Grant Drive where officers recovered a 9mm handgun, with the serial number partly removed, and a partially-loaded magazine that police believe the suspected shooter left behind.
Police also collected evidence at the crash scene in Scotts Valley that could help identify the suspect car.
Investigators are looking into the possibility the shooting was related to gang activity, Clark said.
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