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Teen shot multiple times, gang motivation suspected

Modified: Saturday, Aug 10th, 2013

Tarmo Hannula/ Register-Pajaronian Police investigate a suspected gang shooting Saturday

SANTA CRUZ — A 15-year-old male was shot multiple times early Saturday in the Seabright area of Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Police Department said Saturday.

A 15-year-old male and four men, 20, 25 and 27, have been arrested in the shooting, which is believed to be gang motivated, according to Santa Cruz Police Deputy Chief Steve Clark.

The suspects’ names have not been released.

Moments after the shooting on Murray Street approximately 1:30 a.m., Capitola Police and the California Highway Patrol got behind the suspect vehicle, a small compact grey or green car traveling southbound on Highway 1. The driver reportedly failed to yield to officer’s lights and sirens.

The car exited Highway 1 at Rio del Mar, sped up Clubhouse Drive and eventually stopped near the Seascape Golf Club, Clark said. Two males, both from Watsonville were captured by police following an extensive search in the upscale neighborhood with the aid of a police dog.

By 11 a.m. the remaining two had been rounded up, Clark said.

Witnesses reported hearing several shots.

“I heard it last night,” said Wyn Newstrom who was visiting the Seabright area. “It was huge. I was up all night. I told my husband it might be fireworks. But he served in Vietnam; he said it was definitely gunfire. It was this popping that went on and on.”

Police were initially called to the intersection of Seabright Avenue at Murray Street at 1:25 a.m. for reports of numerous shots fired. They located the victim, who was conscious and breathing, collapsed near a bus stop.

The victim was either walking or riding his bike in the area with a 17-year-old male when he was shot in the legs and torso. He was taken to a trauma center in the San Jose area. He was undergoing surgery early Saturday.

Police closed Murray Street altogether between the Santa Cruz Harbor and Seabright Avenue throughout the night in order to process the extensive crime scene. About a dozen shell casings were strewn over a 20-yard section of Murray Street beside the railroad tracks.

“I was in the area light night with friends when I heard a bunch of shots, said one man who chose not to give his name. “There were a bunch of shots, like somebody lit a brick of firecrackers. I ride my bike through here all the time; I just rode right through this area earlier.”

This story will be updated.

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