One man is dead and another injured after a midday shooting in the front yard of a home Monday in Sacramento County’s Fruitridge neighborhood.
Sacramento County sheriff’s officials said they think three guns – at least one of them a rifle – were fired in the 12:30 p.m. attack at 48th Street and Baker Avenue, west of Stockton Boulevard.
It was not clear whether the victims, two men in their 20s, fired back, or if all three guns were fired by the suspects, said sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa Bowman.
Detectives had not yet identified a motive, although sheriff’s gang detectives were called to assist. Gang graffiti covered a wooden fence about a block from where the shooting started.
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Witnesses reported seeing two suspects flee from the scene, at times on foot and other times on a bicycle, Bowman said. Detectives think they continued firing as they headed northbound on 48th Street, with shell casings stretching from Baker Avenue to Parker Avenue.
Bowman said she did not know how many shots were fired. Witnesses told The Sacramento Bee they heard anywhere from six shots to upward of two dozen.
Deputies and Sacramento police officers who were close by responded to find a chaotic scene, with people running in several directions, Bowman said. By Monday afternoon, they had detained a number of people, but it was not clear whether the shooter or shooters were among them, she said.
Paramedics transported the two victims to a local hospital. One of them was pronounced dead shortly thereafter; the other, who suffered an injury to his leg, is expected to survive.
Lee Roman said he was working on a fence nearby when one of his co-workers told him to “hit the ground.” Roman said he looked up to see two young men riding by on bikes, armed with rifles. He heard five shots, then, after a pause, another three.
“My ears are still just ringing,” he said. “It’s just unbelievable. It’s not something you want to see or listen to in your life.”
Donovan Lee and his 13-year-old son, Richard, heard the gunshots but dismissed them, thinking the noise was coming from a neighbor dropping wood on the ground. They came outside to see the commotion following the shooting.
The elder Lee said he has lived in the area almost 20 years. The violence did not shock him. He pointed to a perfectly round bullet hole in a neighbor’s fence.
“Soon as it starts getting warm, attitudes start flying,” said Lee, 54. “It doesn’t take much.”
Another longtime resident, Stephen Abbott, bemoaned the area’s troubles with neighbor Sal Brushia. They said they regularly hear gunshots; Abbott has been the victim of theft. He cited a meth lab that recently blew up a block away.
“We’ve heard the police helicopter overhead four nights in a row,” said Abbott, 63. “They know me at 911 – that’s how much I call.”
One neighbor who declined to give his name out of fear of retribution said he had seen the area deteriorate in the 15 years he has lived there. He lamented what he perceives to be a lack of respect for life among today’s young people – and a disregard for the consequences they face when they risk it.
Shaking his head as more deputies filed by, he wondered aloud: “What is the world coming to?”
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call (916) 874-TIPS or to leave a tip anonymously through the Sheriff’s Department’s website.