Unconfirmed report of gunfire, fleeing subject leads to wide search by PD

April 20, 2011
Santa Paula Police Department

A report of an exchange of gunfire in a residential neighborhood Friday evening led to a search that involved a Ventura County Sheriff’s helicopter, but no victims were located.

According to a Santa Paula Police spokesman, one subject - a known gang member with an outstanding felony warrant for a weapons charge - was pursued, but it is unknown if he was involved in the reported shooting.

The incident occurred April 15 at about 7:30 p.m., when SPPD officers responded to a report of a shooting in the area of 200 South Steckel Drive. Witnesses reported a male subject had fired into a vehicle and the vehicle occupants returned the gunfire.

SPPD officers sent out an alert to area hospitals to be on the watch for a gunshot victim, but none were reported. In addition, a search of the area failed to find any evidence of a shooting.

While clearing the scene of the reported gunfire, an officer was driving behind a vehicle when an unidentified male subject suddenly jumped out, and upon seeing the officer fled on foot into the Moultrie Street neighborhood. The subject fled into the back yards on Moultrie Street, and officers established a perimeter.

A more than 90-minute search of the area by SPPD officers, a K9 unit and a Ventura County Sheriff’s helicopter failed to locate the subject. According to a SPPD statement, it is unknown at this time if the subject was related to the shooting call or just happened to be in the same location where it was reported to have occurred.

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