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West Ventura County Focus

OXNARD : Police Say Attacks Appear Gang-Related


A recent rash of stabbings and shootings in Oxnard--three in the past week--appear to be the result of escalating gang conflict in the city, police said Thursday.

All the incidents involve a small number of people, most of whom know each other and are suspected gang members, said Sgt. Charles Dunham of the Oxnard Police Department's Major Crimes Unit.

"A lot of it is caused by drug trafficking. I think there is a territorial dispute taking place, that's what the word on the street is," said Bob Herrera of Victory Outreach, an anti-drug and gang group.

Witnesses--many of whom were family members and close friends of the victims--have not been of much help, Dunham said.

"Sometimes they don't cooperate because they plan to take care of it themselves," Dunham said.

In the most recent incident, 17-year-old Richard Madrid was struck in the back Wednesday night in a drive-by shooting on the 1200 block of South M Street. He was treated at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard and released, police said.

Early Saturday, two men were shot outside a liquor store after a brief confrontation. Peter Rodriguez, 20, and Richard Salazar, 23, were wounded outside the Liquor Cellar store about 1:30 a.m. Police said Rodriguez was the intended target, while Salazar was an innocent bystander.

Also last week, four teen-agers were arrested on suspicion of stabbing and beating Rancy Dillon, 16, in the back and head during a gang fight June 30. The confrontation, which took place near the Fremont Shopping Center on Devonshire Drive and Ventura Road, involved about 20 people from two rival gangs, police said.

About five shootings and stabbings in Oxnard over the past two weeks are believed to be gang-related, police said.

"I don't know if it's something that happened last week, or something that happened last year that's triggering this," Dunham said. "It's very hard to tell."

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