Nikki Mello was wounded around 3 a.m. on the 2800 block of Redbridge Road by an unknown man during a party at the teen’s house, according to police.
The teen’s mother, Yvette Perez, said during a telephone interview Friday, March 29, that her daughter is doing better, but she still has to see a specialist to determine if the bullet can be removed.
“She has a bullet in her left lung, a centimeter from her heart,” Perez said. “No surgeon will risk losing the lung. They (doctors) are all leaning toward leaving it (bullet) there.”
Perez said her daughter was doing better but noted that she was in pain during the immediate days after the shooting.
The bullet went into the teen’s back and ricocheted off a couple of ribs before entering her lung, Perez said.
She’s now recovering at home, according to Perez.
“This is hard,” she said. “It could have happened to anybody’s kid.”
A single parent of two holding down two jobs, Perez said she has tried all she can think of to control her “troubled teen.”
She said Nikki is known for having unsupervised parties at the family’s Redbridge home.
On the night of the shooting, Perez said she was with a family member in Fremont.
“I’m not an ignorant parent,” she said. “I’ve tried everything.”
News of the shooting caused a commotion among residents in the Redbridge community, located off Lammers Road south of 11th Street in western Tracy.
On March 18, the Redbridge homeowners association board of directors invited Tracy Police Department Detective Gregory Gilstrap to their monthly meeting to answer questions from concerned residents.
Board President Dave Lieberman told the gathering of about 50 residents at the Redbridge House, 2935 Redbridge Road, that the shooting involving the Perez family could have happened to anyone.
Lieberman said the meeting was to address general safety and security issues within the Redbridge community.
He provided police with two hours of security video from four community cameras that might have captured the license plate of the shooter’s car.
Gilstrap, who is not investigating the shooting, said he didn’t know a lot about the case, so he couldn’t discuss it.
He did advise residents to call police when a party with loud music was starting. He said early notice would enable officers to shut down the party before it got out of control.
“We have a noise ordinance,” he said. “Call the police if you hear music more than 50 feet away and it’s disturbing you. The earlier, the better.”
One woman said she heard the party starting around 10:30 p.m., but according to police reports, officers were not called until 2:55 a.m.
A man, who only identified himself as a member of security firm Spearhead Protection Inc., which reportedly oversees Redbridge security patrols, said his guard received a call for a fight at 2:59 a.m. He said the guard got to the house in three minutes and saw police approaching the residence.
“It was a low-key, spontaneous quick situation that got bad,” he said. “We want to stop this type of thing.”
A man, who identified himself as Perez’s neighbor, said he heard people shouting around 2:30 a.m. About 10 minutes later, he heard six gunshots.
“I came here to retire,” he said. “Something has to be done.”
Lieberman asked Gilstrap if social media could facilitate a party getting out of control.
“Without a doubt,” said the detective. “With an open party, you’re going to have a problem.”
One resident asked if they could control the number of vehicles coming into the neighborhood if they were not registered with the association.
Lieberman told her no, but he said they could request extra security patrols if they saw a lot of unregistered cars. He said security could notify the police if the cars were still there late at night.
Lieberman told residents the board planned to send postcards to Redbridge residents that identify who to call — police, security or property management — if a particular incident should occur.
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