Two Arrested After Drive-by Shooting in San Benito

Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 8:40am

"No, es pacifico, vieras."

Barbara Rodriguez has lived in her San Benito home for several years. She says the neighborhood is very peaceful, so when she heard about a drive-by shooting near her home, she was shocked.

San Benito Police say the drive-by shooting occurred last Friday night when two alleged gang members driving on Chapman Street spotted a rival gang member. Both men jumped out of their car and began to exchange words with the alleged victim.

"During the disturbance, one of the individuals pulled out a .22 caliber pistol or handgun, fired up in the air. The victim came at him and during the incident, two more shots were fired, two or three more shots were fired. Two shots hit a van that was parked in front of the victim's house."

A neighbor called police and the suspects fled, but not for long. Investigators discovered the shooter only lived three blocks away. Authorities didn't catch 18-year-old, Juan Rodriguez, that night. Police, along with the SWAT team arrested Rodriguez Tuesday morning and charged him with deadly conduct.

18-year-old, Miguel Tapia, who police claim was the other man involved in the shooting, was arrested and charged with making threatening calls to the victim's home and possession of marijuana.

"He placed a phone call to the victim's house the day after the shooting saying they were going to go finish what had been started and made several threats to the mother and son."

Detective, Arturo Flores Jr., says making threatening calls is a serious crime, but what makes this case even more significant and dangerous is the fact that Tapia has a lengthy criminal history.

"They do have a very substantial criminal history that indicates that they are dangerous individuals so we take them very seriously."

After the shooting, the police department beefed up patrol in the neighborhood. Authorities say they haven't encountered a problem since last Friday but for Barbara Rodriguez, this incident is more than enough to be extra careful.

"Tengo la pistola y la carabina."

She says she keeps a loaded gun with her just in case anything happens. Tapia was given a $60,000 bond. As for Rodriguez, he has bonded out of jail.

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