Q: When I was a sophomore in high school in 1975, my older brother was arrested in Sacramento for a drive-by shooting murder of which he was acquitted. I would like more info on the case. Was anyone caught or charged or convicted of the crime? Who was the victim?
Vincent, San Francisco
A: Five young men in their late teens and early 20s were arrested in the slaying of 21-year-old Clifford C. Wong of San Francisco at 15th and W streets in Sacramento on Oct. 12, 1975.
The charges against all five were dismissed due to insufficient evidence, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.
The shooting was the fourth incident in Sacramento that year believed linked to feuds between factions of Chinese youths in San Francisco.
Wong reportedly became involved in an argument with several other people about 1 a.m. on the sidewalk outside the Sacramento Convention Center after a performance at the center by four Chinese bands from San Francisco. Witnesses told investigators that Wong and several friends then left in a car and were followed by three other automobiles loaded with people.
The vehicles traveled south on 15th Street. When Wong stopped for a red light at W Street, a Volkswagen bug drew up along the right side and three or four shots from a handgun were fired from the vehicle, detectives said. One of the shots went through the top of Wong’s head.
The Volkswagen, with four Chinese youths in it, was stopped by California Highway Patrol officers near Vacaville. But there was no gun inside and no way of telling whether the four occupants were the four people originally in the vehicle, according to the deputy district attorney handling the case. Charges against the four were dismissed about a month after their arrest.
A fifth person, a 19-year-old San Francisco man, was arrested in December 1975, but charges against him also were dismissed, according to accounts in The Bee.