CHICO, Calif. - The Chico Police Department has located a victim and has released additional information from the "wild-west" type shooting that took place Wednesday.
After receiving multiple reports of shots fired, Chico police officers responded to the 100 block of Cohasset Road. Most reports said that a suspect was running on the road firing a weapon.
Witnesses reported seeing the suspect get into a gold 4-door sedan and head north on the Esplanade. Officers immediately located the suspects car and engaged in a short pursuit before the suspect turned into a dead-end street.
The driver was immediately taken into custody while the passenger took off on foot with officers in pursuit. The passenger ran from the scene but was taken into custody a short distance later when officers stopped him from breaking into a home with a woman and her two children inside.
The passenger was identified as Tyrone Sotolongo, 23, of Stockton. The driver was identified as Marcelino Juarez, 23, of Stockton. A search of the vehicle uncovered over $9,000 in cash and 21 grams of heroin.
During the investigation, detectives were able to locate a victim. The victim admitted he had been shot at, but he was not struck by any gunfire. Numerous bullet casings were found on Cohasset Road and nearby parking lots, however, detectives did not locate anyone who was the victim of a gunshot wound.
“This was a highly dangerous and rapidly changing incident which occurred in a business and residential area of Chico,” said Chico Police Chief Michael O’Brien. “From the large number of innocent citizens in the area, individuals visiting local businesses at the time and even the unsuspecting mother simply at home with her children; all of them were in danger. This could have concluded much differently. We are thankful nobody was injured due to the gunfire and reckless actions of the subjects involved. Our officers and detectives moved quickly to mitigate a potentially deadly situation.”
Investigators believe that the suspect and the victim had some type of interaction in front of a business near 180 Cohasset Road. The suspect shot at the victim numerous times as the victim ran towards the Esplanade.
The firearms were not immediately found on the suspects, but with the help of a K-9 unit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, investigators located the firearms hidden in some bushes.
“This was another public safety risk which was mitigated,” said Sergeant Scott Harris. “Our law enforcement teams quickly located a loaded firearm in an area where it could have been discovered by an adult or children.”
Detectives continue the investigation; processing evidence and interviewing witnesses to determine the cause of the shooting. Anyone who has not already been interviewed by police and witnessed the incident or may have additional information is asked to call the Chico Police Department Detective Bureau at 530-897-5820.