Four hurt in ‘gang’ shooting in Burbank
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com August 2, 2012 9:52AM
A shooting reportedly occurred at the rear of this home on the 6400 block of W. 86th St. in Burbank. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: September 4, 2012 6:14AM
An area of Burbank where police say gang activity has been on the rise was the scene of an early Thursday morning shooting in which three teenagers and a 20-year-old woman were shot, police said.
Their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, police said.
Saul Rizo, an admitted gang member, said his 19th birthday party took a sudden violent turn at about 3:30 a.m. when bullets came flying through his back yard, forcing his friends — some bleeding profusely — to run for cover.
Rizo, who lives in a tidy bilevel in the 6400 block of West 86th Street, said bullets were fired over a fence facing Ridgeland Avenue as he and eight friends were in his back yard having a few beers.
“We were just partying ... Another gang, they saw us, so I guess they shot over my fence and they hit four people. It was bad,” said Rizo, who turned 19 Wednesday.
Burbank Police Capt. Joe Ford said the incident appeared to be gang-related and not a random act. He said the victims were taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where two of them underwent surgery.
Police said a 19-year-old Burbank man was shot three times, an 18-year-old Chicago man and a 19-year-old Burbank woman both were shot twice, and a 20-year-old Chicago woman was shot once.
Ford said the victims were “obviously targeted.” The shooter fled in a car, police said.
Rizo said he has been a gang member since he was 14.
“I’ve known these guys since the fifth grade. It’s more than a gang to me,” he said.
He suspects a member of a rival gang did the shooting.
“We’re going back and forth. It looks nice out here, but (Burbank) gets a lot of action,” Rizo said.
This was the second shooting incident in the last five months in which the residents of that address were targeted, police said. A man who identified himself as Rizo’s uncle pointed out two bullet holes in his van from the previous shooting.
The Burbank man who was shot early Thursday has been shot at in the past five months, police said.
Empty beer cans still were sitting near a patio next to a large above-ground pool in the yard about 11 a.m. Thursday.
“They were shooting out of nowhere. ‘Pow, pow, pow.’ They let nine shots go. Everybody got down. There was one shooter,” Rizo said.
The victims ran from the back yard along a sidewalk west of the home’s garage. Blood was visible Thursday morning on the sidewalk and the home’s driveway.
Rizo said he was “kind of” afraid for his life when shots rang out.
“I didn’t know what was going on. We were just sitting around. I thought it was fireworks,” he said.
Ford said in a news release that Burbank police have increased patrols in the area because of “elevated gang activity in the last several months.” He said arrests have been made and guns and drugs have been taken off the streets but a lack of cooperation in gang-related incidents has hindered investigations.
Anyone with information about the shooting or other gang activity in the area is asked to call the Burbank police at (708) 924-7300.