Deadly East Bay turf war continues

July 12, 2009 7:15:08 PM PDT
Another deadly shooting occurred in Richmond early Sunday morning. Someone fired dozens of rounds into a garage on 8th Street near Lucas Avenue. One man was killed and two others were injured.

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This most recent shooting took place at a house in the Iron Triangle neighborhood. There have been a string of shootings in Richmond over the past two weeks and police do not know whether any of them are connected. They are calling the incidents parts of a very dangerous turf war.

"It was a lot of bullets. A lot. I didn't think the gun was going to ever stop. I know that had to be an illegal gun," Charlesetta Foreman told ABC7.

Another bloody night in Richmond left Foreman's brother shot in the leg and a 63-year-old man dead. A third man is in critical condition.

"I don't know what happened. I was in the house. I just heard the bullets and I heard my brother say he'd been shot," she recalled.

The three victims were playing cards in the garage of a house on 8th Street. Police do not know why two suspects entered the garage but at 3:40 in the morning 20 to 30 shots were fired.

"We don't have any arrests at this point. We're still trying to gain information," police Sgt. Bisa French explained.

Richmond is on its way to surpassing last year's 27 homicides, with 25 so far this year. In just two weeks, six people have been killed in an ongoing turf war and at least 10 others were shot but survived.

More than 100 rounds were fired into one apartment complex last week alone.

Police are cracking down, stepping up patrols and taking a zero-tolerance approach to low-level crimes like public drunkenness and loitering. They are hoping any arrests might mean a lead.

"We're still not sure what exactly is the root of the problem here. We do believe that it's just different factions of the city that are feuding. At this point we don't know what the feud is all about," said Sgt. French.

Neighbors like Angelica Nora, who lives across the street from Sunday morning's shooting site, are fed up and just want an end to the violence.

"Unsafe. I'm not happy. And, with what happened last night, it scares me," she said.

Police say they cannot solve any of the killings if witnesses do not come forward. Last week the police chief circulated a letter in the community asking for tips but so far, in the wake of what happened Sunday morning, it does not seem to be having much of an impact.

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