OXNARD — Police have arrested three alleged gang members who are suspects in a Sunday night drive-by shooting that left one Oxnard man critically injured and another with bullet wounds in his legs.
One man from Pacoima and two juveniles were arrested Monday afternoon by Los Angeles police. The three, who were driving a gray 1979 Honda Accord that authorities say was used in the shooting, were transported to the Oxnard police station late Monday night.
According to Oxnard police, weapons recovered from the vehicle are consistent with the type used in the shooting. Police say the car driven by the known gang members had earlier been reported stolen.
The victims, Paul Gozzip and Arnold Calayan, were busy cleaning up after a weekend party celebrating the baptism of Gozzip's daughter when gunmen drove up and shot them, family members and authorities say.
Now Calayan, the godfather of Gozzip's infant daughter, is in guarded condition--more serious than critical condition--at St. John's Regional Medical Center after a bullet pierced his chest.
Gozzip, a 20-year-old Oxnard resident, was being treated Monday at Ventura County Medical Center for gunshot wounds to his legs.
Police are calling the shooting the latest in a spate of gang-related violence in Oxnard, but family members say the two close friends had no ties to gangs.
Standing in the driveway of their Terrace Estates home, where gunfire erupted about 12 hours earlier, Gozzip's in-laws called the crime senseless.
"He's a good kid," Roberto Orallo, 55, said of his son-in-law. "He always comes right home after work."
Gozzip married Daisy Orallo, 21, last year, and the couple have a 10-month-old daughter named Alexa. Gozzip works as a nurse's assistant in Oxnard, Orallo said.
Calayan's friends and relatives gathered near a hospital waiting room Monday as he clung to life. They declined to speak to the media.
But Orallo said he did not believe that Calayan, a 22-year-old Oxnard resident, is involved with gangs.
"He's a respectable man," Orallo said. "He always calls me uncle when he comes over here."
Since January, Oxnard has logged six homicides that are believed to have been gang-related, said David Keith, a police spokesman. And police said the nature of Sunday's shooting leads them to consider the crime a gang-related incident.
Police and witnesses said Gozzip, Calayan and a few other friends were in the Orallos' garage in the 4500 block of Boston Way when a car pulled up near the driveway at about 10 p.m.
Young men yelled comments from the car--originally described as a light blue, two-door compact--and then opened fire on Calayan and Gozzip, police said.
"When you have an exchange like that where words were yelled out between groups, that is a pretty good sign [that it is gang-related]," Keith said.
But Orallo said a group of men in a car pulled up to the house moments before the shooters and told Gozzip and Calayan that they were being followed by men with guns. Orallo said he believes the bullets were meant for this other group of men.
"We cannot figure out why this happened," said Orallo, who has lived in the house for about 17 years. "Usually this is a very good neighborhood."
Although the Terrace Estates neighborhood is in south Oxnard, which has pockets of high-crime areas, neighbors said Sunday's violence came as a shock.
"This is the quietest neighborhood in the area," said Lauro Almeron, the Orallos' next-door neighbor. "We have never had this before."
Times correspondent writer Jason Terada contributed to this story.