Violent Crime

Santa Cruz Police Seek Public’s Help in 2 Separate Weekend Shootings

Santa Cruz police are asking for the public’s help in two separate shootings late last week that resulted in property damage.

The first shooting happened in the area of West Cliff Drive and Swift Street shortly before 8:30 p.m. when a witness saw a flash and two shots come from a dark-colored Dodge Charger, police said.

Officers spoke with witnesses who said people inside the Dodge were trailing the victim’s car on Swift Street, according to police. Someone inside the Dodge shot twice at people inside the victim’s car where no one was injured, but one bullet hit the trunk, police said. Officers later found a shell casing, according to police.

The suspect car is described as a black or dark blue with tinted windows and black rims, according to police. The shooter was a Hispanic man who wore a black beanie and sat in the rear left passenger seat, police said.

The suspect driver was a Hispanic man with long dark hair and front seat passenger was a Hispanic man who wore a black beanie, according to police.

The second shooting happened on Saturday around 11:30 p.m., when officers responded to reports of shots fired into an apartment in the 300 block of La Fonda Avenue, police said. Officers learned a bullet went through a rear fence, shattered a sliding glass door and lodged into a living room sofa, according to police.

No one inside the residence was injured and witnesses said they saw a dark-colored four-door sedan leave north on La Fonda Avenue, police said. Officers found 12 bullet casings on the street and returned to the scene on Sunday to a neighboring home where they found bullet in a yard, according to police.

Detectives are looking for any video footage from surveillance systems that can help their investigations into the shootings, police said. Over the course of the police investigation into both shootings officers with the department’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team arrested a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of possessing a loaded, concealed firearm, participating in a criminal street gang, possessing drugs and drug sales, police said.

The officers stopped the boy, a known gang member, who was driving a BMW at Wharf Road and Grace Street around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, according to police. The teen was the only person inside the car, where officers found a loaded semi-automatic handgun inside, police said.

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