Contributed Photos (below)
Police released surveillance images of a “person of interest” in the Feb. 20 homicide on Apple Avenue in Greenfield.
SOUTH COUNTY — A spike in violent crimes this month has left two residents dead and two others injured from four shootings reported in King City and Greenfield, and now local investigators are asking for the public’s help in finding those responsible for the gun violence.
The most recent incident happened Sunday, Feb. 25, at about 4:48 p.m. at a residence in the 300 block of S. Vanderhurst Avenue in King City, where officers found a 19-year-old Hispanic male suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the upper body.
The victim was taken to a local trauma center for treatment, though his current condition was not immediately known.
Police called the shooting an “attempted homicide,” but no other details have been released.
Last Friday a portion of Highway 101 in Greenfield was shut down for several hours while authorities investigated a drive-by shooting that injured one man. According to reports, the man was shot while driving northbound on the highway near the Thorne exit at about 9:18 a.m. on Feb. 23 after a gunman fired several times from a dark gray Honda at the victim’s white SUV, which then crashed and flipped, landing on its roof.
The gunman fled the scene.
Police said the victim was expected to survive.
Investigators are not certain if the shootings are related to two recent homicides in South County.
A Greenfield man was shot and killed while riding his bicycle on Apple Avenue last Tuesday afternoon, marking South County’s second murder in less than a week.
Greenfield police officers responded to shots being fired in the 600 block of Apple Avenue at about 1:20 p.m. on Feb. 20. Once on scene, they found a man on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound.
“Lifesaving measures were started by first responders; however, the victim succumbed to his wounds and was pronounced deceased,” police said in a news release.
Investigators from the Major Crimes Investigations Unit, a collaboration between Greenfield and King City police departments, were called to the scene and found that the victim — identified as Joseph Suniga, 32, of Greenfield — was riding his bicycle in the area when he was approached by the suspect.
Police said the suspect — described as a Hispanic boy in his mid-teens, with light brown hair and last seen wearing a white collared shirt and dark pants — produced a firearm and shot Suniga before fleeing the scene on a BMX-style bicycle. Suniga died at the scene.
Police have released surveillance photos of a “person of interest” that show a male teenager wearing a white T-shirt and riding a bicycle, matching the gunman’s description. A $2,500 reward also is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Suniga’s killer.
This is the second homicide in South County in the past week. On Feb. 16, Juan Manuel Ceja, 22, of King City was found dead from a gunshot wound inside a parked vehicle at 450 Jayne St. in King City.
No arrests have been made in connection to these violent crimes.
“No other information is being released, as the investigation is continuing,” police said. “The investigators would like to reach out to the public and is asking for their cooperation during this investigation.”
Anyone with further information about the aforementioned incidents is encouraged to contact Det. Leo Guzman at 831-888-7168 or Det. Joshue Partida at 831-718-7241 of the Major Crimes Investigations Unit, or call the WeTip line at 1-800-78-CRIME.