5 shot in gang attack near Atwater; 3 killed

March 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Three young people were killed and two others wounded at a party north of Atwater Saturday night.

Merced County sheriff's investigators say the shooting happened at a party taking place at a home on Westside Boulevard just off of Highway 99.

Police, sheriffs' deputies and highway patrolmen rushed to the scene amid a flurry of 911 calls. Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin says they found a tragic situation.

"While most of Merced County residents are counting their blessings and most Merced county children are counting their Easter eggs the Merced county sheriff's office unfortunately counting shell casings, the wounded and unfortunately, the dead. "

Five people were shot; a teenage boy and girl were killed. A man in his early 20's also died. Two other teenage boys were wounded. All of the victim's names have not been released but their families have been notified.

The girl, 16-year- old Samantha Parreira died at a Modesto hospital Sunday afternoon. According to her Facebook page she was a student at Golden Valley High School.

Pazin says the shooting was committed by members of a gang, who believed members of another gang were at the party.

"There was one group that was having some type of social gathering, the other group heard about and goes over there and the bullets start flying."

A migrant housing project is nearby; Maribel Ureno was visiting family there for Easter. They only speak Spanish. She translated what they said about the incident.

"My sister lives here and she said last night about 11 o'clock she heard some gun shots and she woke up and someone was knocking at her door. It was some young guy he was asking for help to get in. He was worried, crying and said someone got into their house and started shooting people. They were really scared because they didn't know what was going on."

They told her law enforcement officers arrived within minutes. Sheriff Pazin said it was a chaotic scene, and investigators are now trying to find out who is responsible.

"There are no suspects other than trying to gather who was shooting at who and why," Pazin said.

As with most gang related shootings, law enforcement officers are having a hard time getting witnesses to cooperate.

Anyone with any information about this situation is asked to call the Merced county Sheriff's department.


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