Police name suspect in ice cream truck shooting

February 4, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Late Friday night Vallejo Police named the teenager they think shot an ice cream truck driver at point blank range.

Investigators say the shooter, 15-year-old Peter Montenegro, is a runaway from Hayward who should be considered armed and dangerous.

Montenegro was staying with his foster father in Vallejo and his mother lives in Hayward. He was recently kicked out of school and is a Norteno gang member. Police believe he may have headed back to Hayward.

Police think Montenegro attempted to rob 39-year-old Amarjit Kaur on Wednesday as she sold ice cream from her truck behind Springstowne Middle School. They say Montenegro shot Kaur because she did not understand English and did not understand his demands.

Police are calling Montenegro armed and dangerous. They are advising the public not to approach him, but to call 911 immediately.

Shortly after the shooting, Montenegro ran into a nearby hot dog shop and acted suspiciously and repeatedly looked over his shoulder and through the window at the crime scene. That is where a surveillance camera inside the restaurant caught a picture of him.

Kaur had surgery and is recovering in the hospital. She was finally well enough to talk to police today.

An ice cream man in Vallejo usually makes little more than $50 in a day. And a day after one of their own was shot near the same middle school where they were back out today trying to make a living, some are wondering if it is worth it.

"I don't have any other job right now; this is the only option I have, that's why I'm doing it right now," ice cream vendor AJ Singh said.

Kaur worked as an ice cream vendor for about a year. Every day she parked at the back side of Springstowne Middle School; that is where she was Wednesday, stopped right in front of a preschool, when someone shot her.

"Customer sometimes coming, you don't know they have a gun or not, [you] never know," ice cream vendor Onkar Singh said.

Kaur's daughter, too scared to show her face, says the single mother of three teens who immigrated from India was shot once in the lower chest.

"She really didn't know that much English so I don't know, she really didn't have any problems with anybody," she said.

In 10 years, Singh has had his truck robbed and rocks thrown at him, but he has never heard of anything as frightening as this.

Montenegro is described as Latino, with short, dark hair, between 5 feet 6 inches tall and 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds and wearing a black pea coat.

If you have information regarding this case, call the Vallejo Crime Stoppers line at (707) 644-STOP (7867).