TULARE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Five people including two teenagers were struck by gunfire after a street race late Sunday night. Deputies say it happened in the middle of Tulare County on Road 84 and Avenue 208.
Deputies believe there were several shooters.
Every person struck by gunfire is expected to survive. Their injuries range from being shot in the hand, to their limbs.
Deputies and investigators are asking for the public’s help in finding out what led up to this shooting at this illegal drag race.
The intersection of Road 84 and Avenue 208 is a quiet county road west of Tulare with nothing but fields around it.
Sunday night, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office says it was the sight of a drag race with around 100 people in attendance and several fast cars racing up and down the two-way street.
Ashley Ritchie is the media relations coordinator for the Sheriff’s Office.
“At some point, some type of argument broke out, we’re not entirely sure what it was over. Gunfire was exchanged and five people ended up getting shot,” she said.
Deputies believe after a race, at least two people pulled out guns, and the five people struck by gunfire are suspected to be bystanders in this incident.
“[There are] likely to be more than one person arrested for attempted homicide because there was an exchange of gunfire. We do know that we did find a gun, but it doesn’t seem consistent with the gun in the shooting,” Ritchie added.
Four of the victims were rushed to the Flying-J rest stop on Paige Avenue near Hwy 99, where ambulances took them to a nearby hospital in Tulare.
One of the victims drove themself to the hospital.
Their ages range from 17 to 30, and all suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
“Whenever you have 100 strangers essentially together at an event, that’s ripe for disaster as it is, then you add on drag racing, it’s going to be a dangerous situation,” said Ritchie.
Investigators are still trying to figure out what led up to the shooting.
Ritchie says one of the victims is being uncooperative with deputies.
Investigators are on social media looking for a post they believe was shared to promote the drag race.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking for any cell phone video that may lead them toward answers.
“There were videos being taken, and possibly of the fight or the argument, so really are asking people to let us know what they know. If they heard anything, have any information, if they have videos of the fight or drag racing, anything. We really need that information,” concluded Ritchie.
Several cars were taken by deputies for evidence of the shooting, but not for drag racing.
We are working on getting a description of any suspects or persons of interest.