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Corning teenager shot twice in back
Suspected to be gang-related
As of early Friday, Corning police have still not been able to interview the victim in Tuesday night's shooting at a South Street apartment.
Billy Thamvongkhom, 18, was shot twice in his back, in what police believe is a gang-related shooting.
Corning police Chief Don Atkins said they continue to follow up on leads.
According to Atkins, Thamvongkham was sitting on the couch in his upstairs apartment when someone kicked in the door and shots were fired.
"Witnesses reported hearing yelling and then the gunshots," the chief said. "When we arrived we found the victim laying on the floor with two gunshot wounds in the back. It appears he was shot while sitting or laying on the couch in the living room."
One of the bullets struck Thamvongkhom in the pelvis and the other near the spine, Atkins said.
Witnesses reported they heard two gunshots and soon after a vehicle driving away at a high rate of speed, Atkins said.
Thamvongkham was reported to be in critical condition at Enloe Medical Center in Chico on Wednesday, but hospital staff said Friday he was no longer there.
Police believe the victim was alone when the shooting occurred, but are uncertain how many people may have been involved in the shooting.
"He lives with his girlfriend, but she is in Mexico right now," Atkins said.
Police said they have had numerous contacts with Thamvongkham in the past, and the shooting is most likely gang-related.
While searching Thamvongkham's vehicle parked near the apartment, police discovered a .22-caliber casing on the floorboard in the back seat and a police-style baton under the driver's seat.
Atkins said it is unknown at this time if the South Street shooting is related to shots fired in the alleyway behind Grant Street around 8 p.m. that same evening.
"It that incident we found .45-caliber casings on the ground," he said. No one was injured in the Grant Street shooting, but witnesses said they saw a man dressed all in black with a ski mask over his face run down the alley and then shoot a handgun at a group of people in the backyard of a home.
"We were so scared," said a girl at the home. She asked to remain anonymous.
She said everyone outside dropped to the ground.
"No shots hit the house where people were inside," she said.
It appears several incidents of gang-related crime have struck Corning over the past three days.
Corning High School was vandalized on Sunday night when someone sprayed gang-related graffiti on more than a dozen sites at the campus.
This occurred after a gang member, Andres Rodriguez Ayala, 22, of Corning, was arrested during a traffic stop at 10:09 p.m. on Hoag Road near the cemetery.
Ayala was booked into the Tehama County Jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and on several warrants out of Tehama County.
"We are investigating whether or not any of these incidents are related," Atkins said.