Four arrested for gunfire

February 19, 2009 1:02:36 PM PST
Santa Rosa police made four arrests Wednesday in separate cases in which shots were fired but no one was struck by the gunfire, police Sgt. Lisa Banayat said.

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Milton Mendez, 22, and a 17-year-old boy, both of Santa Rosa, were arrested in connection with a Dec. 20 shooting in the 2000 block of Sebastopol Road.

A 39-year-old man and his two adults sons had gone to FoodMaxx to pick up food for a church event and drove past an alleged gang fight in the parking lot as they left, police said.

The family members allegedly saw one of the people involved brandish a handgun, and the father and sons quickly fled the parking lot. A car followed them and pulled up alongside their vehicle, and the victims swerved into the suspect vehicle in an effort to escape, police said.

The victims then heard several shots fired at them and the suspects fled.

Mendez and the juvenile are documented gang members and are facing charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, with gang crime enhancements, police said.

Police today also arrested 21-year-old Ricardo Hermosillo and 20-year-old Juan Vargas, both of Santa Rosa, in connection with shots fired at two locations early Feb. 13.

At about 4:20 a.m., shots were fired at a home in the 2800 block of Apache Street. Gunfire erupted again at a Valero gas station at 100 Coddingtown Center less than 15 minutes later. No one was injured in either shooting, Banayat said.

In the second shooting, the suspects allegedly entered the Valero gas station, asked to use the bathroom and then stole a six-pack of beer. The clerk took the beer back from one of the suspects, who got into a car and allegedly fired four shots toward the clerk as the suspects fled, according to police.

The suspect description in the Apache Street case was similar to surveillance video footage of a suspect obtained from the gas station, police said.

Hermosillo was booked on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Vargas was booked for assault with a deadly weapon and shooting into an inhabited dwelling.

Investigators are working to identify more suspects in both cases. Anyone with information is asked to call the Gang Crimes Investigations Team at (707) 543-3600.

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