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Investigators suspect gang violence in rash of shootings in Turlock
Mario Grarandia

The Turlock Police Department is investigating a series of shootings that occurred over the weekend in what could be an outbreak of gang violence.

No injuries were reported from the three shootings, though at least in one case the target was an occupied dwelling, said Turlock Police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis.

Investigators believe the shootings could be gang-related and are looking at the possibility that they are all linked, Lewis said.

The first of the three shootings was reported to the police department at 8:27 p.m. Friday. The police department received multiple calls reporting eight to nine shots had just been fired in the 100 block of Hayes Drive.

Investigators found evidence that an occupied home had been struck during the blast of gunfire. Several shell casings were recovered at the scene.

No vehicle or suspect descriptions were available from the incident.

The second shooting was reported to the police department around 11:35 p.m. Friday in the area of E. Olive Avenue and E. Canal Drive. Callers reported hearing shots fired, with one caller saying there was an argument, followed by gunshots.

The first officer to arrive spotted a vehicle speeding away from the area and two men running on Kenwood Avenue. The two men were detained and one, later identified as Mario Grarandia, 21, was arrested for a warrant out of Merced County. The other man detained was not charged.

A third man was also detained in the area. When told he would be patted down for weapons he took off running and a short foot pursuit ensued, Lewis said. Officers briefly lost sight of him, but located him after a perimeter was established in the area. The man, identified as Ismael Flores, 21, was arrested for resisting arrest.

Officers also found a handgun discarded in the area of the perimeter, Lewis said.

Officers spoke to a woman in the 900 block of Kenwood Avenue who said a bullet struck one of her tires.

The third shooting was reported at 4:19 a.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of Mitchell Avenue. The initial call stated 30 to 40 gunshots had just been fired and a vehicle sped away. Officers recovered more than 20 shell casings in the area, Lewis said. It appeared as if one home was targeted in the shooting. No suspect or vehicle information was available.

Nearly 16 hours after the third shooting Turlock Police officers made a traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of two men and the seizure of two loaded handguns.

The traffic stop was made around 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the area of N. Olive Avenue and E. Minnesota Avenue.

A man, later identified as Luis Chavez, 25, ran from the vehicle once it was stopped. He was later found hiding behind Emanuel Medical Center and was taken into custody. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of two loaded 9mm handguns. Both Chavez and Oscar Flores, 33, were arrested for being felons in possession of loaded firearms.

Officers also issued a citation to Susie Flores, 36, for delaying or obstructing arrest.

The investigation into the shootings is ongoing and anyone with information about any of the three incidents is asked to contact Detective Brandon Bertram at 668-5550 ext. 6623.