A Sacramento man was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in prison for his role in a 2012 gun attack on Sacramento Bee newspaper carriers who were mistaken for rival gang members.
Xou Thao, 24, of Sacramento, was convicted last month of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, aiding and abetting the shooting of an occupied vehicle and aiding and abetting an assault with a firearm in the predawn shooting Jan. 2, 2012, in the 7600 block of Detroit Boulevard in the Meadowview area. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Savage handed down Friday’s sentence.
The carriers were on their delivery run about 3:45 a.m. in the 7600 block of Detroit Boulevard when their car was fired upon, according to news reports at the time.
Thao, then 21, was the wheelman for shooter Xong Moua, then 19. Both were members of the Junior Criminal Crips street gang, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office complaint, and mistook the motor route carriers for gang members because both had covered their faces with bandannas to shield them from the early morning chill, authorities said.
Authorities said Thao stopped the car and Moua opened fire on the carriers’ vehicle. The carriers were not injured.
Moua pleaded no contest to the shooting and was sentenced in 2014 to 19 years in state prison, according to court records.
Because of Thao’s gang affiliation, he must serve at least 15 years on the gun charge by state law before he will be eligible for parole.