Police say Lompoc alley – scene of two shootings – is gang member hangout

Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 27, 2018

Police say a 26-year-old man who was shot in the leg Sunday in Lompoc has been released from the hospital.

The shooting happened in an alleyway between North D and E Streets, an area police say they know well.

"All I heard was gunshots," said a neighbor who was fearful to go on camera. "I didn’t see nothing."

Shots rang out in the alleyway around 7:45 p.m. Sunday.

"The subject was waiting to pick up marijuana there when a car drove in the alley and, unprovoked, someone inside of a vehicle shot the subject," said Detective Sgt. Agustin Arias, Lompoc Police Department.

That vehicle, described as a dark, four-door sedan took off. The man who was shot in the leg is the third person to be hit by gunfire in this area in just two weeks.

On Aug. 13, two people were wounded in a gang-related shooting in the same alley.

Police say the alley is a gang member hang out with high crime.

"We’ve had arsons there, we’ve had vehicle burglaries, we’ve had assault with deadly weapons. Prior to this, the first shooting that you’ve mentioned, there was a stabbing the night before the shooting," Sgt. Arias said.

Police say they’re working to pinpoint whether the latest shooting was also gang-related.

The amount of crime is unnerving to some residents with families.

"Nervous, scared, we have kids here," said the neighbor. "There’s a lot of kids all around here. It’s not safe to leave them outdoors no more."

"We’ve tried to warn the gang members that affiliate in this alley to stay out of the alley; however, they choose to be defiant and want to hang out there and claim it as their territory," Sgt. Arias continued.

Neighbors say they’d like to see a change.

"(It’s) bad. They need to clean up this alley." 

Police say the alley has been riddled with gang activity for at least 25 years.

"Talk to your landlords, whoever your landlord is, talk about safety improvements. There are ideas that we can provide for the landlords to stop the congregating in these carports but it’s up to them if they want to enforce those, if they want to make their neighborhood better," Sgt. Arias concluded.

Police ask that if you have any information on Sunday night’s shooting to give them a call.

The two victims in the shooting on the 13th have been released from the hospital. No one is in custody for either shooting.

Police say around this same time last year there were 12 shootings in the city of Lompoc. This year, there have been 16 shootings.