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Yuba City police pluck shooting suspects from chicken coop
Aided by clucking chickens, police arrested two suspected gunmen Saturday after a shooting spurred a half-hour search in a Yuba City neighborhood.
Alarmed by reports that men were jumping fences to evade authorities, a McCune Avenue resident noticed an unusual amount of clucking coming from inside her chicken coop.
The woman stood on the sidewalk and summoned police, who entered her backyard just before 6 p.m. and arrested two suspects, one of whom had been shot.
Nearly an hour earlier, a Yuba City 17-year-old was shot in the abdomen in the 700 block of Taber Avenue, police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey said.
Paramedics wheeled the victim out of the single-story gray house on a stretcher and transported him by ambulance to Rideout Memorial Hospital, where his name and condition were unavailable.
Pavey said the teen, a 16-year-old from Elk Grove and two others, Vaitou Garriganafamasaga, 18, of Elk Grove, and Jessie Sotelo, 21, of Sacramento, went to the Taber Avenue home to buy marijuana.
At some point during the negotiations, Sotelo shot the 17-year-old, Pavey said. The other three fled in a white Pontiac, and after a brief search and pursuit, police stopped a car on South Walton Avenue near McCune Avenue, arresting Garriganafamasaga. Sotelo and the Elk Grove teen fled.
Police scoured a square-mile radius of neighborhoods around South Walton and McCune avenues, Cherry Street and Allen Way. Police received reports of suspects crossing through backyards.
After officers entered the home in the 1600 block of McCune, shouts could be heard in the backyard. Additional officers and Sutter County sheriff's deputies charged in with guns drawn.
Pavey said when Sotelo and the Elk Grove teen hopped the fence, they broke the chicken coop, causing the chickens to roam free. Their noises alerted the homeowner.
The two remaining suspects were facedown on the ground. The Elk Grove juvenile was handcuffed and wheeled out on a stretcher. He had reportedly been shot in the lower body as the suspects fled.
The youth was transported to UC Davis Medical Center. Following treatment, he was going to be booked into Bi-County Juvenile Hall.
Pavey had no details on how or why the Elk Grove teen was shot.
She said Sotelo would be charged with attemped murder and robbery. The others also would face robbery charges.
A signficant amount of pot was taken from the house, Pavey said.
On McCune, normally a quiet street, resident David Garcia said he was unnerved. He had been eating lunch when a neighbor called to say people were jumping fences.
"I live just a few doors down — it could have been my backyard," he said. "I got two dogs — little ones — but they would have let me know."
News of the arrests made him feel better, he said.
"There won't be no problems now," he said. "I can go to sleep quietly."
Back on Taber Avenue, the neighborhood quickly returned to normal, with one neighbor trimming his hedges and children playing in front yards as police cordoned off the street with yellow tape and began their investigation.
Nearly two hours after the shooting, Ray Molinar said he was caught off guard when he returned to his Taber Avenue home from a grocery run and found police tape blocking off the street.
"It's a nice family-oriented neighborhood," he said. "We have the normal speeders — it's 25 through here, not 45, with children at play. And the high schoolers use it as a shortcut."
Taber Avenue is just a few blocks south of the scene of a Valentine's Day shooting, which claimed three lives, including the gunman, killed by police as he fled on Franklin Avenue.
CONTACT Ashley Gebb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4783. Find her on Facebook at /ADagebb or on Twitter at @ADagebb.