Lompoc police are searching for whoever is responsible for shooting and killing an innocent 17-year-old girl.
Shots rang out around 7:40 p.m. Monday in the alley between M and N streets along the 600 block of Ocean Ave. near Ryon Park.
The girl was killed when she walked outside to see what was happening.
A known gang member was also shot in the leg.
Police are not releasing the 17-year-old victim’s name at this time because she is a minor and out of respect for her grieving family.
Lompoc Police Sgt. Kevin Martin said on Tuesday that the girl was killed by a single bullet.
Neighbor Sarah Nalette was making dinner at her Ocean Ave. apartment when the shooting happened.
“And I heard a lot of shots just ring out and I immediately turned off the lights and made sure the door was locked,” Nalette said.
She says she heard at least five shots and she got on the ground.
“Because I didn’t know where they were and I thought maybe just one was going to fly up through my window,” Nalette continued.
But her neighbor just two doors down, who was babysitting her siblings, went outside to see what the commotion was and was fatally hit, according to police.
“I did hear a woman screaming and crying and I heard some other people freaking out,” Nalette said.
Police say a known gang member was walking in the alley behind the Ocean Ave. Apartment Complex when a moving car started firing at him.
“That person was struck by one of the bullets but was still able to flee south away from the alley towards Ocean Avenue and hide in some apartments in that area,” Sgt. Martin explained.
He says there was no connection between the gang member who had a non-life threatening wound and the teen who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I saw them pull two stretchers and I saw them take one guy away and I figured they aren’t using the other one like, she’s down and I didn’t want to see that,” Nalette said. “I think it could have been me or my roommate just walking downstairs to do laundry or going out to our cars, taking out the trash and it’s scary to live somewhere where at any time you could just be an innocent bystander and just everything is over like that.”
“There is a family suffering tremendously today because of violence that didn’t need to take place,” Sgt. Martin added.
Police say there was also a gang-related shooting on Sunday but it’s unclear if the two shootings are related.
Anyone with video of the alley or the surrounding area where Monday evening’s shooting took place is urged to contact the Lompoc Police Department.