On the 25th of January, two teenage girls were shot while in downtown Santa Cruz. The shooting has been ruled as gang related and has been investigated as such.
The shooting happened in the area of Pacific Grove and Birch Lane. The shooting was reported at 8:07 PM, sunday evening. Both victims were transported to a nearby hospital; both with what seemed to be non life threatening injuries.
On the evening of the incident, Police K-9 units were patrolling the area of Cedar and Laurel Streets; this was happening as other officers were diverting traffic from the taped off area of around Pacific Avenue and Laurel Street. The gunman’s intended targets, three teenage males, were near the two teenage girls, the unintended victims of the shooting. The males believed that they could get revenge upon the shooter and went to Louden Nelson Community Center believing that they would be able to find the shooter in one of the alternative learning classes. The three went as far as to ask the other students where the shooter was. The three intended victims were identified by students, and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff arrested them. They were identified as Ty Sultana, 18, of Santa Cruz; Edgar Thomas, 19, of Santa Cruz; and Travis Bermio, 18, of Watsonville. Thomas was also accused of violating his probation.
The student that the three where searching for was named and was brought in for questioning by local law enforcement. He was questioned about the shooting, but had an alibi; which placed him nowhere near the shooting on the Sunday evening. He was ruled out of being directly involved in the shooting. The gangs that were reportedly present at shooting are the Northerners and Southerners. The shooter is possibly involved with one of the two gangs that were involved. This situation brings to light the effect of gangs within Santa Cruz County.
– Xan Daven-Thomas, News writer