The single vehicle accident happened Tuesday evening on Road 156 and Avenue 362 near Ivanhoe. When California Highway Patrol Officers arrived at the scene one person was dead and two others were injured. They alerted the Tulare County Sheriff's Department after discovering some of the injuries included gunshot wounds.
Cruz Medina, 18, of Orosi died at the scene. It's still unclear if he died because of the shooting or as a result of the accident. "There are apparent gunshot wounds. We do know that. But we want to make sure. With blunt force trauma in accidents, sometimes it's not visible on the outside and it may have been internal. An autopsy will let us know a little more," said Sgt Chris Douglass with the Tulare County Sheriff's Department.
Investigators believe the three men had been driving through the area when someone fired shots at them. They haven't released who they believe was driving the SUV or if the survivors are cooperating with investigators. Investigators are also trying to determine if gang activity played a role in the shooting. "We do have our violent crimes unit investigating. So there's still some info they're trying to gather. They're also working with our gang unit to determine if there's additional information they may have as to whether or not its gang related," said Douglass.
Douglass said a 19-old-man suffered minor injuries in the crash and was treated and released from the hospital. A 26-year-old man suffered gunshot wounds but his injuries aren't considered life threatening.