Crime - Sacto 911

Man arrested in Sacramento City College incident likely friend of shooting victim

Witnesses describe Sacramento City College shooting

Video and photographs by Renée C. Byer, produced by Andrew Seng
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Video and photographs by Renée C. Byer, produced by Andrew Seng

Sacramento police on Friday arrested Rico Ridgeway, one of the men injured during the Sacramento City College shooting, for assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the case.

Ridgeway, 24, was booked into the Sacramento County Jail Thursday morning and placed on parole hold.

Police are still searching for the man who shot and killed Roman P. Gonzalez, 25, of Sacramento.

Photos on Ridgeway’s Facebook page show him and Gonzalez hugging. Ridgeway appears to be the man seen in a cellphone video frantically administering CPR on Gonzalez after the shooting.

The shooting that left Gonzalez dead and Ridgeway and another person injured followed an argument between two groups of men around 3:50 p.m., according to police. The altercation got physical and then escalated after a knife and a firearm were produced, police said. Ridgeway was grazed by a bullet, but a still-unidentified man was seriously injured and taken to an area hospital.

Sacramento police described the shooting suspect on Twitter as a “male Tongan, white shirt/beige cargo shorts, last seen fleeing (on) foot from the shooting.” Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman Traci Trapani said the attack appeared to be an “isolated incident” rather than a campus shooting spree.

Los Rios Community College District spokesman Mitchel Benson said this is the first shooting on any district campus. Police are investigating whether it was gang related. A table was set up at the school Friday where students and faculty gathered to sign a banner with their condolences.

Sacramento Superior Court records show Ridgeway was charged with four felonies in 2013, including assault with a firearm. He pleaded no contest to that charge in October 2013. Ridgeway served 10 months and was paroled in February 2015, state corrections records show.

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Gonzalez had his own criminal record, court documents show. He was charged in 2006 with three felonies, including assault with a semiautomatic firearm, records show. He pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to two years in a California Youth Authority facility.

Gonzalez served nearly six months of his sentence, but was returned to custody twice for suspected parole violations, according to state corrections records. His parole expired in March 2013.

In an Aug. 28 post on his Facebook page, which he maintained under the name “Petey Flacz,” Gonzalez said he was interviewing for jobs and going to college, but expressed frustration that “dumb s... still be happening all the time to me and my fam.”

This was Gonzalez’s first year at Sacramento City College, according to his cousin Vincent Trejo.

“He was a good man always willing to lend a hand,” Trejo said.

Gonzalez’s mother, Davida Trejo, lives in a modest house on Pacific Avenue just south of the campus, near Track 7 brewery. She declined to comment on her son’s death Friday.

The shooting and ensuing manhunt badly rattled the campus and the neighborhoods around it. Throughout the later afternoon and early evening, a police helicopter circled overhead and officers cleared classrooms building by building.

Gonzalez, Ridgeway and the third person who was injured were Sacramento City College students, said Rick Brewer, college spokesman.

The shooting occurred in a faculty and staff parking area in the south end of the campus off Sutterville Road, near the college’s softball field.

Officials warned residents to stay away from the area of Sutterville Road and Freeport Boulevard as they cordoned off the crime scene and searched the vicinity.

“Sad incident on the edge of the campus. Search is occurring in and around the campus. Air ship is supporting search,” Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers posted on Twitter shortly before 6 p.m.

College officials canceled evening classes. A lockdown at the college was lifted at 7:45 p.m., Brewer said. Classes resumed Friday, and Brewer said counselors would be available on campus.

The shooting occurred shortly before 4 p.m.. The college notified students via text message at 4:41 p.m. Some students described the lack of information and mass evacuation as chaotic.

Early media reports suggested the Sac City violence was connected to another shooting in south Sacramento, but police said Thursday evening that they could not confirm that.

Kimberly Jenkins, 18, a freshman, said she was coming out of class about 3:50 p.m., just as police were arriving.

“We saw the cop cars just zoom through,” the campus from all directions, she said.

Jackie Flores, 50, who lives across the street from the parking lot, said he heard four or five gunshots.

“It all happened so fast,” he said.

Shortly before 5 p.m., Gonzalez’ body lay in the parking lot and about a dozen police cars were at the scene.

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