Arrest made in gang-related shooting
by Joel Danoy
Dec 18, 2012 | 8513 views | 11 11 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Police arrested a 16-year-old boy they believe is responsible for shooting another person twice on Friday, Dec. 14, in what is thought to be gang-related violence.

An “alert” officer reportedly arrested the teen at about 5 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, according to a press release on Monday, Dec. 17, from Capt. John Espinoza of the Tracy Police Department.

The shooting occurred at about 1:15 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of Tracy Interfaith Ministries, 311 W. Grant Line Road.

An 18-year-old man inside a GMC truck was shot twice and is in stable condition at an area hospital, Espinoza said Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Information at the scene, Espinoza said, led to a preliminary identification of the shooter, and officers were put on the lookout by Friday night, when the boy’s identity was confirmed.

That information about the suspect — a description or his possible hangouts — was not provided to the public because investigators wanted to maintain their “investigative steps to take advantage of having that kind of information,” Espinoza said.

“We had some good information, and when we know who a person might be we can take a tactical approach,” he said. “We follow all of the leads we received from the public and usually they are very helpful, like the witnesses in this case. The public has to trust us to use that information to make an arrest, like we did in this case.”

According to Espinoza, the arresting officer recognized the suspect while on a call Sunday.

The teenager was taken to San Joaquin County Juvenile Hall in French Camp and charged with attempted murder, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and a gang enhancement charge, the release states.

He is on probation for armed robbery, according to the release.

A call in the police log at 5:02 a.m. Sunday was made by a woman who said her dog was barking at something outside her home on the 300 block of West 21st Street.

Six minutes later, at 5:08 a.m., an officer reported detaining a person in the area of 22nd Street and Parker Avenue, the log states.

At 6:24 a.m., it was reported that the person was wanted in reference to the shooting outside Tracy Interfaith on Friday, according to the log.

Espinoza could not completely confirm whether that was when the teenager was arrested. However, he did say, after being read the log entry, “That is probably the call.”

Police are not releasing the name of the teenager because he is a minor.

Espinoza would not say how many shots were believed to have been fired or what type of gun was used, citing the need to protect the investigation.

He said no gun has been recovered.

It was initially reported at the scene by police that two people — a man on a bicycle and a person inside a GMC truck — had fired several shots at each other.

Investigators later determined through witness testimony that the person on the bike — eventually identified as the 16-year-old boy — had allegedly fired at the occupants of the truck. None of the occupants in the truck is thought to have fired a gun, the release states.

The victim was taken to Sutter Tracy Community Hospital in the truck shortly after being shot.

The truck was parked hastily in the hospital parking lot, and it appeared to have at least four bullet holes around the passenger side door.

Both the victim and the suspect are gang members, according to Espinoza. It is the policy of the Tracy police to not release the names of gangs whose members are involved in violence.

No information about pending court dates or bail is available, because the suspected shooter is a minor.

• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or

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December 19, 2012
lmao, I bet his friends, cousins and parents will say 'and he was just turning his life around', he would not hurt anybody, he loved his family and sports and wanted to be a accountant.
December 19, 2012
Try this LOSER as an adult.....send him away for life. You people are giving him too much credit calling him a "thug"....he is no more than a COWARD! Real tough guy....having to use a gun...real "thugs" use their fists to prove how tough they are...Cowards use guns...they aren't tough enough to fight. The rest of you "wanna be" gang bangers, if you can read this, try using your fists to prove something...."chickens" use guns. Oh yeah, I'm very happy to hear the TPD Lt. that was elected to Mayor of a poor innocent city...good luck with least he is outta here. Now, he is your problem!
December 19, 2012
16 years old and already a convicted in jail on attempted much more time and money are we going to waste on him. It's not a question of if there will be a 3rd strike, it's just a matter of when.
December 19, 2012
Sad. Sounds like the teenager was brought up right.
December 19, 2012
Since the victim is also a gang member I hope he won’t be a hostile witness or refuse to testify to help get a conviction. Several years ago I served on a jury where this happened. The gangs have their own justice, and the victim didn’t want to be labeled a snitch when and if he was ever arrested and entered the prison system, which is why crimes like this can be very difficult for our courts. Even scum has its standards when it comes to rapist, child molesters and snitches.
December 19, 2012
Great work TPD. When will the parents of this thug also be arrested for raising a 16 year old convicted felon? The parents involved will likely say that their thug was a good boy, singing in the Sunday School choir, becoming an eagle scout, helping little old ladies cross the street, and beginning to turn his life around. We've heard this BS too many times before while these same parents continue to breed without end. The time has come to start substantially increasing parental accountability for the criminal behavior of their kids. If this is just too much for some parents to accept, abortion clinics and birth control are readily available for you. As for the thug involved, lets charge him as an adult, convict, and throw away the key, while locking up his parents as well. Society is finished tolerating this type of reckless behavior from these little thugs, and the parents who raised them
December 19, 2012
Hey what do you know, a shooting right by the skatepark.

You know the place that local Tracy kids complain about? The park that kids can not use because it is over run with gangbangers and people looking for drugs.

It is funny because when they built this thing, people like me warned that the violence near the youth skatepark would increase.

Now we got shootings right next to the skatepark.

But hey, this is the type of facilities our Mayor thinks the youth deserve. A park filled with gangs, guns, and drugs. Welcome to New Stockton, people.
December 20, 2012

I said the same thing. Before they built it, I remember walking through that section of the park and actually seeing a used needle on the ground. It's amazing how often civic leaders will seek to build something in a somewhat crime-ridden area, assuming that everyone will police themselves and it will make the surroundings nicer. So often just the opposite happens.

Pruitt-Igoe housing projects in St. Louis were a perfect example of that. Built in 1956, they had nice inside garden and courtyard areas. Those areas, being shielded from the view of the police, did NOT become gathering places, but rather meeting locations for gangs and drug dealers. All 21, 11 story buildings, were torn down a mere 16 years later.
December 19, 2012
So we don't have a gun and we don't want any witness info on where the suspect went after the shooting, cause a passerby might have saw someone acting strange in the area. When the suspect stashed the gun maybe, and even now after the arrest he doesn't give a description and ask if anyone saw someone in the area after the shooting.

There is absolutely no investigative reason to hold back a suspect description to the public. He knows what he looks like, his victims know, and any witnesses at the scene know. Of course you don't want to release his name. This statement clearly shows espinosas lack of investigative skills and him attempting BS the public with his reasoning is hilarious.

Hey captain, is your idea of a tactical approach, a patrol cop stumbling across this shooter on a routine call?

Again, thank god there are real cops in that department. Maybe the captain should run for office somewhere so he can retire and make room for someone that has a clue about law enforcement, how's the lawsuit against your boss goin?
December 19, 2012
it's a shame that some people don't know how most suspects are caught.

And I thought only the criminals were stupid.
December 22, 2012
Hey pubic citizen,

It is true that most arrests are made by the patrol officer, but NOT when you have a documented gang member, who has prior weapon arrests, and just shot some one in a public place. Especially if you have him identified and have all of your available resourses working the case. remember public safety is the captains concern. well he knew who did it, so now we need the gun. thats a real concern. Detectives should have Ramey warrants and search warrants written before Captain crunch can get his photo op and worthless statement to the press.

Tactical advantage, please. that patrol officer that arrested the suspect had NO TACTICAL ADVANTAGE..... He/she is a good cop in spite of the damage and danger the captain creates because of his incompetence .

Where is the gun, captain? well it was dumped in the area or given to another gang member to hold after the crime. so if someone saw this punk they may not even know it cause we don't know what he looked like or what he was wearing.

Maybe the good captain should worry less about trying to explain his incompetance to the public, and learn basic police work.

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