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Shooting stories changed, police say (Plant City, FL): Police are investigating a shooting at a Plant City house that has been the scene of four gang-related problems in the past two years. Most recently, an 18-year-old man was shot in the abdomen. Witnesses initially reported that someone either fired from a car or got out of a car and fired upon the victim as he stood in the yard of the house. Police are now receiving information that the incident was an accidental shooting between gang members. "They are now telling us that one of the guys was handling a firearm and accidentally shot one of his compatriots," an officer said. Police also said that most of the gang activity for the past several years has been limited to two rival groups, involved mostly in a war of words. They mark their territory with graffiti, using the name of the group or the nickname of a gang member. Other recent incidents include a 14- and 18-year-old arrested for criminal mischief in connection with graffiti on houses, businesses, and stop signs on the west side of the city. In addition, a gang member was charged with shooting a rival gang member at Courier Field.
Source: The Tampa Tribune Date: February 21, 2004
Police identify sixth suspect in connection with drive-by (Athens, GA): A sixth gang member wanted in connection with a drive-by shooting in an east Athens neighborhood last month that wounded three has been identified by police. The 25-year-old man is a member of the Los Primos street gang. About two weeks before the drive-by shooting, members of the Los Primos and 18th Street gangs were involved in a fight at an area bar, during which a vehicle belonging to one gang member was "busted up." Soon after the bar fight, shots were exchanged between the two groups at the Pinewood South Mobile Home Park, police said. More gunfire erupted January 30, when Los Primos members shot at a car occupied by 18th Street members as it drove through Garnett Ridge. The incident at the Garden Apartments occurred later that day. In that shooting, one suspected 18th Street member was wounded as he stood in front of his duplex, and two others were wounded as they sat down for dinner in the adjacent residence. Two men, ages 18 and 24, from the Los Primos gang have been arrested thus far.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald Date: February 21, 2004
Police worry about retaliation after gang-related killings in San Jose (San Jose, CA): Authorities in San Jose are keeping a close eye on two prominent gangs that have clashed numerous times lately. Within five weeks, four people have been killed in two shootings and a stabbing. Police are blaming the Norteño and Sureño gangs. Because the incidents took place over weeks, not days, authorities do not believe the two gangs have declared war on each other, but police believe that in each incident a Norteño attacked a Sureño. That leaves police and gang experts pondering whether one gang is making a statement and fearing that the other may soon retaliate.
Source: San Jose Mercury News Date: February 20, 2004
Five arrested in drug sweep (Spokane, WA): A group of 30 law enforcement officials from the city, county, and state arrested five suspects during a drug sweep in Spokane. In the first raid, a 24- and 26-year-old were arrested on three counts each of delivery and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. The second raid netted two suspects, ages 21 and 24, on a single count each of delivery of a controlled substance. The final raid came when officials arrested a 24-year-old. An officer and his drug dog found a quarter ounce of crack cocaine. All of the suspects arrested were either confirmed gang members or gang associates.
Source: The Spokesman-Review Date: February 20, 2004
Drug suspects lived at site of fatal stabbing (Great Falls, MT): A Great Falls couple whose home was the scene of a gang- and drug-related break-in and fatal stabbing was arrested in a local motel. The 46-year-old woman and her 52-year-old husband had a variety of drugs and paraphernalia in their room, police said. The woman, already wanted for criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, now faces additional charges including three counts of felony possession of dangerous drugs, one misdemeanor possession charge, and one possession of drug paraphernalia, also a misdemeanor. The man, who was out on bond in a felony forgery/misdemeanor theft case, faces the same charges, as well as obstructing justice and tampering with evidence, both felonies. No arrests have been made in the February 6 stabbing of an 18-year-old man, killed after four men broke into the couple's home in what police say was a drug- and gang-related crime.
Source: Great Falls Tribune Date: February 19, 2004
Fort Pierce homicide was part of a gang initiation (Fort Pierce, FL): Two men, ages 20 and 23, have been charged with murder in connection with the death of a 26-year-old man. The younger suspect, who admitted to firing the fatal shots, said that it was part of an initiation into the 13th Street Gang. The older man reportedly told the shooter that he would have to kill and rob someone to become part of the gang. The victim was alleged to have owed the 23-year-old man money from a previous drug deal.
Source: Fort Pierce Tribune Date: February 19, 2004
Two injured in gang attacks (Tustin, CA): A juvenile was shot, and another man was stabbed in two unrelated attacks in Tustin. In the first incident, a 17-year-old boy and another male were confronted by two men in a car who pulled up beside the victims and fired at them before fleeing the scene. Police said the shooting was being investigated as gang-related. In the second incident, an 18-year-old man was stabbed during a fight at a Jack in the Box restaurant. Police arrested two men, ages 18 and 21, in connection with the stabbing. The two suspects are both members of the Laurelhood Thugs, and the victim is associated with the Barrio Brown Revolution. The victim's wounds do not appear to be life-threatening.
Source: The Orange County Register Date: February 19, 2004
Four charged in drive-by shootings (Richland County, SC): Four people, ages 17, 18, 19, and 20, described as gang members by Richland County sheriff's officials, have been charged with five drive-by shootings within the past month in the Broad River Road area. Also during the investigation, deputies arrested two other reported gang members, ages 17 and 21, and charged them with robbing someone at gunpoint. It has not been determined if the shootings and robbery are related. The sheriff's department has identified more than 450 people with gang ties in the three years it has had a gang-investigation unit but considers fewer than 100 to be hard-core gang members.
Source: The State Date: February 19, 2004
Possible gang link in shooting (Freeport, NY): A 17-year-old Freeport teen was in serious condition after being shot in what Nassau police believe was a gang-related confrontation. The fight was the latest in a series of altercations between the Crypts and Bloods gangs, police said. Shortly after the shooting, police arrested a 17-year-old on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Police do not believe he was the shooter but have a "reasonably good idea" who the shooter is and anticipate making at least one more arrest in the case.
Source: Newsday Date: February 18, 2004
Los Angeles street gang said tied to kidnap ring (Los Angeles, CA): A member of a notorious street gang and six other men were charged with taking part in a violent kidnapping ring that snatched groups of illegal immigrants from their smugglers, then held them for ransom, federal authorities said. Over the course of a year, the ring hijacked as many as 400 illegal immigrants who had crossed the border, authorities said. Relatives in the United States were typically charged $1,500 each to buy back their freedom. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency said the case appeared to be the first in which an immigrant-hijacking scheme was linked to a gang in Los Angeles. The 18th Street gang is considered one of the most violent gangs in the United States.
Source: The Associated Press State & Local Wire Date: February 18, 2004
Police seek public help in bus stop shooting case (San Diego, CA): Police are searching for a young man who robbed and shot a restaurant worker at an Oak Park-area transit stop. The victim was on his way to work, waiting for a bus, when the assailant approached and demanded to know his gang affiliation, according to police. When the victim denied any such affiliation, the suspect pulled a gun and robbed him. The victim then ran into the street to try to escape. "As the victim darted into traffic, the (gunman) shot him in the back," an officer said. The victim is recovering from his wounds.
Source: City News Service Date: February 18, 2004
Berwyn man held in teen's fatal shooting (Cicero, IL): A 26-year-old man was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of an 18-year-old man that may have been gang-related. According to police, both men belonged to rival gangs, but investigators believe the shooter may no longer be active due to his age. The victim was standing near a car when he was shot point-blank. He died a short time later at an area hospital.
Source: Chicago Tribune Date: February 17, 2004
Slayings raises fears that more will follow (Boston, MA): The recent killings of two Boston teenagers have caused concerns about a return of gang violence that was prominent in the '90s. Nine homicides have occurred in Boston in the first six weeks of the year, a rate that far exceeds last year, when only three people were killed by mid-February. Boston did not see its ninth homicide last year until mid-April. Recently, a 15-year-old boy was fatally stabbed as at least a dozen other youths stood nearby at a Dudley bus station. The day before, an 18-year-old died after being shot repeatedly outside a Mattapan Square grocery store. It was the second shooting that day. In the most recent incident, a 22-year-old man was critically wounded after being shot in the Dorchester's Fields Corner neighborhood. According to a professor at Northwestern University, gang-related violence increased in particular in Chicago and Los Angeles, where gang activity grew in the late 1980s and early 1990s before spreading to other cities. "Many gang leaders in Boston and other cities were imprisoned on federal charges in the late 1980s and early 1990s but have now been released," he added. Gang violence pushed Boston to a record-high 152 murders in 1990.
Source: The Boston Globe Date: February 16, 2004
Gang members beat Nashua man (Nashua, NH): An 18-year-old Nashua man was kicked, beaten, and stabbed by four others in a gang-related hazing attack, police said. The victim recently joined the local chapter of the New York-based Latin Kings gang. Although an attack is part of the initiation ritual, police said the man recently requested to leave the gang, which also results in a gang-style beating. Four members of the gang, ages 17, 18, 19, and 20, planned and carried out the attack. Each man was charged with first-degree assault. Two of the men were also charged with resisting arrest and assault on a police officer.
Source: New Hampshire Union Leader Date: February 16, 2004
Three hit by shots fired into group (Panorama City, CA): Two men and a woman were wounded in a drive-by shooting in Panorama City, police said. Officials said the three victims identified themselves as members of the Vincent Towners, a downtown Los Angeles street gang. No arrests have been made.
Source: The Daily News of Los Angeles Date: February 16, 2004
Drive-by sidewalk shooting kills landscaper (Boynton Beach, FL): A drive-by shooting killed a 21-year-old man and wounded three others, ages 18, 21, and 32, on a sidewalk of a residential neighborhood, officials said. Witnesses said they heard an argument before the shooting and saw a sport utility vehicle drive off after the shots were fired. Police have made no arrests.
Source: The Miami Herald Date: February 15, 2004
Teen charged in Cicero school fight (Cicero, IL): A 15-year-old boy was charged with three counts of aggravated battery in a gang-related melee at Morton East High School. During the incident, one student was stabbed, and another was hit in the head with a lock, a Cicero town spokesman said. In addition, 14 students involved in the fight were suspended for ten days, and at least 4 may face expulsion.
Source: Chicago Tribune Date: February 15, 2004
15-year-old boy fatally stabbed outside Dudley station (Dudley, MA): A 15-year-old boy was fatally stabbed outside the Dudley Square bus station, becoming the second teenager killed in street violence in two days, police said. According to authorities, the boy was with a group of about nine boys, ages 10 to 17, at the station when he was approached by another group of four to six young men, ages 16 to 19. During an altercation, he was stabbed, and the groups scattered toward a street, an officer said. Investigators had no suspects and had not recovered a weapon. It was the ninth homicide in Boston in 2004.
Source: The Boston Globe Date: February 15, 2004
Fourth man charged in Englewood gang attack (Englewood, NJ): A 27-year-old man became the fourth person charged in connection with a gang attack last September that left three men injured, police said. The man was charged with attempted murder. The victims told police they were walking down the street when they were approached by two men who asked if they belonged to the Bloods street gang. When they said they did not, as many as eight other men approached, kicking, punching, and hitting them with baseball bats, they said.
Source: The Record Date: February 15, 2004
Shooting leaves man injured (Juneau, AK): Juneau police are investigating an apparent drive-by shooting that left a man hospitalized. The victim told police he heard three popping sounds as a vehicle passed him, and he realized he had been shot. The man told police that two people were inside the vehicle.
Source: Anchorage Daily News Date: February 13, 2004
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