|Jorge Azios, age 3|
From an article:
Detectives have identified three suspects in the drive-by shooting of 3-year-old boy killed Wednesday night.
Officers are asking for help locating Gabriel Quintero, 20, and two juveniles, one 16 and one 17. Quintero is a validated gang-member, according to Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos. The suspects are believed to have been driving a 1999 white Ford Expedition.
From a related article:
Jorge Azios Jr., 22, was driving a sports-utility vehicle westbound on Loucreta Drive in the Florin area at about 11 p.m. July 4, when more than a dozen rounds were fired at the vehicle. The bullets killed Azios' young son, Jorge Azios.
Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said the department does not believe the shooting was random, but added that it is unlikely the boy's father was the intended target. In the dark of night, it was unlikely that the shooters could see who was driving the SUV, he said.
Authorities believe that the boy's 22-year-old father, Jorge Azios Jr., who was driving the car, was the likely target, but he wasn't hit in the barrage of gunfire from another vehicle.
Azios rushed his young son and namesake to a local hospital, but to no avail.
The boy's father was driving westbound on Loucreta Drive approaching Palmer House Drive when a car pulled up behind him, Ramos said. Someone inside the car fired into Azios' car more than a dozen times, shattering the rear window, Ramos said.
The younger Jorge was in the back seat, not in a car seat, where he was struck multiple times.
Ramos declined to discuss whether Jorge Azios Jr. has been classified by law enforcement as a gang member. However, he said detectives believe he was the target.
"I doubt (the shooter) even knew this kid was in the back," he said. "We think it was more likely than not that the dad was the intended target and this was not random."
According to Sacramento Superior Court records, Azios pleaded no contest in 2008 to a felony charge of second-degree robbery. He was sentenced to jail time and then five years of probation, which, based on the records, appears to still be in effect.
He also is on parole after serving a 16-month prison sentence on a charge of possessing stolen property out of Placer County, according to state corrections officials. He was released from prison in February 2011.
Ramos described the boy's shooting as a "worst-case scenario," a devastating example of how street violence can claim innocent lives.
"Collateral damage like this is an inherent byproduct when you have people doing criminal activity with firearms," he said.