Child among four shot outside party in Pittsburg

October 17, 2011 12:16:11 PM PDT
There is a possible motive in the shooting that injured a nine-year old girl and three teenagers at a birthday party in Pittsburg. Police say they were the unintended victims of a gang war.

A girl was celebrating her third birthday with friends and family. Police say that gang members were targeting somebody who was at the party and in a gang. They missed him and shot four people including the girl.

The family has been too scared to even come outside and finish cleaning up after the party. There's still evidence that children were here having fun, but there are also bullet holes now in the garage door. Police believe the bullets were fired out of a semi-automatic handgun, while people were hanging out in front of the house.

"I was standing here with my mom. I pushed my mom to the ground. That's it and I went inside and I told everybody 'go back everybody, go back to your homes,' because I was scared," said Hector Castanda, who is a relative of the victims.

Castanda says his 9-year-old niece was shot in the arm and his 17-year-old cousin was shot in the chest. The 18 and 19-year-old men who were shot are related to his sister-in-law, he doesn't know them very well. He said they were visiting from Modesto. All of the victims are expected to survive.

"I'm scared because everybody in my whole family was inside. So I'm scared because you never know what's coming down," said Castanda.

Neighbors say the party did not seem out of control at all, it was just a festive family event.

"There was a jumper here, there was a bunch of cars parked all along the sidewalks. It looked like they were having a good time. I was even considering coming over and saying 'hey, hello I've got some beers,'" said neighbor Joshua Booker.

But it was around 8:30-9:00 when two men walked up and started shooting. Investigators say they were wearing hooded sweatshirts and one of the men had a bandana covering his face.

"The guys came and started shooting for no reason, so I don't know why. My family doesn't have problems we're good people. My family works hard," said Castanda.

Police said they are following up on some good leads, but at this point no arrests have been made. The family that held the party has been living in the house for about two months and now they are thinking about moving.


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