Tensions High Before Gunfire

Jannise Johnson, Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Cal.), June 30

RANCHO CUCAMONGA—The arrest Tuesday of three suspected gang members in race-related shots fired at an inhabited dwelling followed weeks of escalating tensions between black and Latino residents in one area of the city, police said.

Phillip Ramirez, 24, of Rancho Cucamonga, and two 17-year-old boys, one from Rancho Cucamonga, the other from Ontario, were arrested Tuesday following a two-week-long investigation into racial threats which culminated June 15 with shots fired into a home in the 10000 block of Salina Street, said San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Gonzales.

Ramirez and the two boys confirmed their involvement in both a Latino gang and in the shooting, according to an earlier police statement. The family targeted in the shooting is black, while the suspected shooters are Latino, said San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Detective Michael Wirz.

The black family lives in an area known as the Club House tract where many other black families reside, Wirz said.

An older Latino street gang controls a nearby area around Humboldt Avenue and 24th Street, Wirz explained. Members of the street gang have been known to threaten black children who come into that area to shop or use a nearby park.

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Ramirez and the two teens were booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on suspicion of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, a hate crime, participating in a criminal street gang and possession of dangerous firearms.

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