gang war in modesto

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gang war in modesto

Unread post by onefinenorteno » April 20th, 2004, 2:19 pm

Police: Gang War Erupts In
Updated: 3:37 p.m. ET April 20, 20046:45 p.m. PDT April 19, 2004 - A string of recent gang shootings and the deaths of two teens in Modesto have area law enforcement on high alert, according to authorities.

The Modesto Police Department is calling the violence an all out gang war. Officials are concerned that teens are killing each other simply for wearing the wrong color.

Just two weeks ago, a 16-year-old was killed for wearing the color blue, according to investigators. And this weekend, a teen was killed for wearing the color red. Investigators fear they are acts of retaliation that will only get worse.

Rachel Garza last saw her son, Miguel Arreola, on Friday, when he was leaving to get a snack at a south Modesto mini-mart. She said she never imagined the red T-shirt he wore would cost him his life.

"I would talk to him about that, and he would say, 'Mom, it is just a color.' Â… But other people take it a different way," Garza said.

Investigators say Arreola was shot and killed by members of a street gang, wearing the color blue.

Gang expert Rich Delgado believes the two latest murders are retaliation for earlier shootings. He says the problem is getting worse with the recent migration of gang members from Los Angeles.

"There is a real push for territory," Delgado said.

Extra officers are now patrolling Modesto on weekends after receiving tips a gang war is happening on the streets. Authorities say there are gang members as young as 12 years old.

"The intelligence we have from the prison system, from informants on the street is that this is just the initial phase of what is happening with the gangs," Delgado said.

However, gang suppression teams say they are making some progress, saying they arrested 75 gang members in just one weekend.

Investigators say they have some good leads on the latest murder and hope to make an arrest soon.

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