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Police: Gunman, victim in shooting near school tied to gangs

Posted at 3:20 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 18:20:14-04

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A teenage gunman and the boy he shot just outside a Northern California high school are affiliated with street gangs and were involved in an ongoing dispute, authorities said Wednesday.

Santa Rosa police located the 17-year-old shooter's .32 caliber revolver Tuesday night discarded in some bushes about 3½ miles (5.6 kilometers) from Ridgway High School, authorities said. The gun had four rounds of ammunition and two spent cartridges; it was stolen in 2016 in a residential burglary in Santa Rosa, police said.

The 16-year-old victim was shot twice and released from a hospital Tuesday night, Capt. John Cregan told The Associated Press. He would not identify the gangs.

The gunman and the victim argued Tuesday morning outside of the high school, where both are students, as part of an ongoing dispute, he said. The gunman opened fire, triggering a lockdown for thousands of students and staff in three schools before police tracked him to a gym class nearly two hours later.

"The investigation has shown this was an isolated incident of violence following a verbal altercation," the statement said. "There is no evidence to suggest the suspect planned any other acts of violence against additional students."

The suspect has been booked into juvenile lockup on suspicion of attempted murder but has not yet been formally charged, Cregan said. His name was not released because of his age.

Cregan said it's not known if the shooter stole the revolver in 2016 but he said it's likely he bought it illegally on the street.

The suspect put the gun into his backpack after the shooting and handed the bag to someone in a vehicle who drove away. Investigators are still trying to determine if the driver knew there was a gun in the backpack.

The shooter then went into a nearby classroom, following lockdown protocol, and behaved normally as detectives tracked his path through surveillance footage.

Ridgway High School, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) north of San Francisco, is an alternative continuation school for Santa Rosa High.