Child's bedroom struck by stray bullets in Antioch

April 5, 2011 7:01:04 PM PDT
Neighbors in an Antioch apartment complex said it sounded like a war was going on. Dozens of rounds were fired in a running gun battle between Surrenos and Nortenos gang members Monday night, Antioch police said.

A 19-year-old man was shot in the neck during the exchange of gunfire. Police say he is in critical but stable condition, adding that he is paralyzed from the chest down but doctors say he will live.

Investigators say the shootings began shortly after 9 p.m. in the 1700 block of Sycamore Street in the back parking lot of an apartment complex. Bullet holes were everywhere. Some lodged in apartment walls. Other rounds shattered the windows of several parked cars.

Three rounds penetrated the window of a 9-year-old boy's bedroom, some 40-50 yards from where the shootings occurred. The boy's mother who wished to remain anonymous, told ABC7 her son thankfully was in the dining room at the time.

"They just kept shooting," Jasmine Williams said. "I heard maybe 20 shots, maybe like four people shooting, their shots going every which way."

Earlier in the day, just a couple of blocks down at the same apartment complex, a 24-year-old man was shot in the leg after a fight ensued involving at one point some 50 people. Police investigators say that incident was unrelated to the nighttime shooting.

Neighbors say gang violence and graffiti are getting worse.

Police say their resources are slim. Budget cutbacks have cut the department staffing by a quarter. Lt. Diane Aguinaga says they are now using available resources to specifically target gang problem areas or hotspots like the apartment complex on Sycamore Street in an effort to stem the violence.

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