SANGER, Calif. (KSEE) – A motive in the shooting death of a 17-year-old in Sanger remains unknown, as police continue to search for answers in the city’s first homicide this year.
Maria Guadalupe Garcia was shot to death around 1:00 a.m on Sunday – around half a mile from her home.
“This is tragic,” said Chief of Police Greg Garner. “It’s a 17-year-old girl, just turned 17, no gang affiliations. There’s no need for this.”
According to Chief Garner, Maria was last seen by her mother, leaving home around midnight. Around an hour later, officers were called to the scene on I Steet. It is unknown why she left the house or where she was going.
“An autopsy later showed that the victim had suffered from a single gunshot wound to the back of her neck. In all likelihood, she died instantly.”
Police say there are at least two suspects involved in the murder. They escaped the scene on foot before shooting 15 to 16 rounds at a neighbor who came outside when he heard gunshots. The neighbor was not struck.
“If you heard the tape and heard the number of shots that were fired, we’re lucky that no one else was injured as well,” Garner said.
Garner says there are witness reports of a white Nissan Altima or Versa and a black Chevrolet Camaro driving away from the area around the time of the crime.
Police say they have collected surveillance footage from neighbors and street cameras, but believe someone can help solve this deadly shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sanger Police Department.