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Gang Problems Spike at Apartment Complex

First, a man is shot and his car stolen, then someone is stabbed during a gang fight.

One man was carjacked and shot, another stabbed at the same Watsonville apartment complex during the weekend, and now sheriff's deputies are working on a safety plan with the complex management to prevent future violence, the reported Monday.

"These two incidents happening in the same day is obviously a cause of concern," sheriff's Sgt. Ian Patrick said.

The violence at 312 Tierra Alta Dr., off Buena Vista Drive near the , is not new. Historically, there have been gang problems at the complex, which includes a large parking and recreational area set amid fields at the end of the road.

“However, in the past couple of years we haven’t had any major gang incidents," Patrick said. “We want to make sure that its not something that reintroduces itself to that neighborhood.”

The trouble started early Sunday. A 20-year-old man was accosted by suspected gang members, stole his car, then shot him when he tried to run away, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The man was sitting in is car in the apartment complex parking lot around 3 a.m. when the three assailants broke out a window on the car, brandished a handgun and accused him of belonging to a rival gang, deputies reported.

After they robbed him, the man started to run but was shot at. He injury was not life-threatening, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The gangsters fled in the man's car, a black 2003 Honda Accord, California license plate No. 6GUN911. (Patrick said that the series of letters and numbers on the license plate was computer-generated, not a requested vanity plate.) The car has not been found.

Deputies were called back to the complex Sunday night when two gangs fought and an 18-year-old man who had been stabbed, the Sheriff's Office reported. His injuries also were not life-threatening.

Investigators know who was involved in the fight, but arrests have yet to be made. Detectives are still working out what crimes to charge people with, according to the Sheriff's Office.

“There’s conflicting eyewitness accounts as to how the fight started and who the aggressors were in the fight. We’re still conducting interviews that should help shed some light as to who the responsible parties are," Patrick said, adding that the stabbing might have been self-defense.

So without any arrests in either case, for now extra deputies will patrol the complex. Also, detectives and gang investigators are investigating the weekend assaults.

Detectives ask anyone with information about the assaults to call the Sheriff’s Office investigations division at 454-2311 or the anonymous tip line at 454-2847.

Cathy P. June 13, 2011 at 08:56 PM
OK, I know this is NOT funny but I couldn't help chuckling at the license plate number "6GUN911." Maybe it's just my sick sense of humor???
Jennifer Squires June 13, 2011 at 09:29 PM
It struck me as odd also. Maybe it's a vanity plate? Strange foreshadowing.

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