Accomplice arrested, teen shooter at large in Vallejo

February 5, 2010 5:31:55 PM PST
Vallejo police have one young suspect in custody and are searching for another in the shooting of an ice cream vendor Wednesday. Police are asking for the public's help in finding the teenager they say actually pulled the trigger.

Witnesses and business owners nearby told police that they believed two people were involved, not just one.

Police released a school ID picture Friday of 15-year-old Peter Montenegro, described as the person who shot the ice cream woman in her truck. Police now say he did not act alone. Thursday night police arrested a second suspect, a 14-year-old.

"He was an accomplice that was with the suspect during the crime and he is in custody on attempted robbery and attempted murder charges, and we have recovered the handgun that was used in the crime," Lt. Eric Mortenson said.

Authorities would not say where they found the gun, only that Montenegro had gotten rid of it.

Police released a picture they say is Montenegro caught on surveillance tape entering and leaving a restaurant located near the shooting. On that tape, the person is seen repeatedly glancing over his shoulder toward the shooting scene.

The accomplice's name was not given because he is a minor. The only reason police have identified Montenegro is because they want the community's help in finding him.

The ice cream lady, Amarjit Kaur, was shot on Wednesday near a middle school. She is expected to survive. According to investigators, Montenegro was robbing the woman and shot her because she could not understand what he was saying. Kaur is from India and speaks no English.

Montenegro had recently moved from Hayward to Vallejo and was attending Hogan High School. Principal Mike Santos says he arrived there about a month ago.

"I really don't know the person. I haven't had any kind of dealings with him on a regular basis," Santos said. "I'm shocked to hear what transpired after school."

Because Vallejo is bankrupt, police have lost about one-third of their force. The department admits officers are not as quick to respond.

Business owners, like John Connelly, say some of the young kids know this.

"They are doing the best that they possibly can with what they have," Connelly said. "I just think that has had an impact on what is going on."

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