Violent Start to Weekend in Cathedral City
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CATHEDRAL CITY - Police are investigating a car-to-car shootout, an armed robbery and an assault with a handgun.
Police responded to three separate violent crimes across Cathedral City -- It all went down within a span of about 12 hours.
In one incident, a man was shot six times, but survived and a child's bedroom sprayed with bullets.
A stolen car riddled with bullets, evidence of a violent night.
The shootout narrowly missed hurting a family in their home.
"Four bullets struck that house and went into the children's bedroom, fortunately the children were not injured, and nobody was injured, but that just goes to show, the gang members don't care," said Sgt. Scott Sharpe with the Cathedral City Police Department.
Officers heard the shots at 2:30 Saturday morning in the Dream Homes neighborhood.
A car to car shootout, 15 shots fired in all.
30-year-old Jacob Garcia hit six times, he's in the hospital in serious condition.
Police say Garcia was early released from prison.
"Weapons, auto theft, and gang related crimes," said Sgt. Sharpe.
Investigators say he'll face new auto theft charges after his hospital stay.
It was a busy Friday night for Cathedral City Police.
"There's been a lot of things going on here, like the shooting and then there's been a couple robberies, there's been a raid down the street, so it's been going on back and forth, not just this street, but streets here consecutively," said Cathedral City resident, Ivan Ruiz.
At 5:30pm along the 32500 block of Shifting Sands, two men shoot at another man while chasing him down the street. No injuries, but another car all shot up.
Four hours later, just a mile away on Avenida del Padre and Aliso Road, a man is robbed at knife-point while walking home - two men ran off with his money.
Some residents say crime is on the rise.
"I believe so, I've been here since 1995, and the crime is really increasing," said Cathedral City resident, Ismal Silva.
And the police force is smaller-- four officers laid off, three others contracted to Desert Hot Springs, and several other empty positions not filled.
"Can't do that, we need those police officers on the street," said Silva.
And the violent weekend is taxing on the recently reduced police department.
"Especially on a scene like this, when you have two different scenes, you have the actual shooting scene, the gentlemen drove home, so now you have a scene over there because you have to protect that car which has evidence and bullets in it, and the victim has been shot so it does tax your resources," said Sgt. Sharpe.
Cathedral City Police respond to on average 200 incidents a day.
Less officers, a bump in crime -- residents on alert.
"So you see something you try to report it as fast as possible, keep your lights on at night, make sure everything is locked, just try to keep an open mind," said Ruiz.
Cathedral City Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed one of these crimes to call them.
And you can always call Crimestoppers at 760-341-STOP.