By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Drive-by shooting injures one
shooting pic1
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Victims of a drive-by shooting that happened on the corner of Lander and Glenwood avenues on Friday afternoon talk with police officers. - photo by MAEGAN MARTENS / The Journal
“I heard a big pow and I saw glass flying everywhere,” said Adriana Leal, 37, of Turlock, after three to four gunshots hit the car she was riding in on Friday afternoon.  
Leal was one of four people who were in a white Ford Lincoln that was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Lander and Glenwood avenues when a person or persons drove up to the right side of the Lincoln and fired up to four shots. Two shots hit the side doors of the vehicle and one shot hit the front windshield on the passenger side.
The driver, Ricardo Rocha, 19, of Atwater, was grazed by a bullet to his left chest. Shattered glass also grazed his right forearm as he sped through the red light attempting to get away from the shooter.
“I heard gunshots and popping sounds,” Rocha said. “I gunned it and ran the red light. My main concern was my baby.”  
Leal, Rocha’s mother, was in the back seat of the Lincoln with Rocha’s five-month old baby who started screaming once gunshots were fired, Leal said.
“I was scared,” said Lucia Gutierrez, 19, of Atwater and Rocha’s wife. Gutierrez was sitting in the front passenger seat at the time of the shooting. “My baby started screaming and I thought he was hit.”
Leal said her first reaction was to cover her grandchild for protection.
“All I could do was cover my grandson,” she cried. “How can someone do something like that with kids in the car?”
The victims didn’t notice anyone following them or any suspicious behavior before the shooting, they said.
Gutierrez and Leal both said they did not see who was shooting at them.
As shots were fired, Gutierrez bent down to plug her cell-phone into the charger dodging one of the bullets that was shot at the front windshield on the passenger side.
“If I wasn’t plugging in my phone, that could have been me,” she said.  
Leal was also busy as she was playing with her grandson while shots were fired.
“I don’t understand how the world can be like this,” she said. “You can’t even cross the street anymore without someone hurting you.”
The only information the police have on the suspect is that the suspect’s vehicle is a white compact, said Turlock Police Sgt. Douglas Ravaglioli.
Police do not know at this time whether the drive-by was gang related, as it is still early in the investigation, Ravoglioli said.
Rocha said he just recently bought the car so the shooters might have meant to shoot at the previous owners.
The Turlock Police Department is asking anyone with information about the shooting to call 668-5550 ext. 6634. Callers can also leave tips with Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.