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Davis, California

Friday, July 19, 2024

Two victims hit in drive-by BB gun shootings

The two consecutive incidents occurred on Oct. 30 and are the second BB gun-related crimes in Davis this quarter


By RACHEL GAUER— campus@theaggie.org


On the evening of Oct. 30, two victims reported being hit with BB gun bullets during two separate drive-by incidents, according to an email crime alert from the UC Davis Police Department sent to community members during the early morning of Oct. 31. 

The crime alert, written by Sergeant Vincent Kwong, reported that two incidents occurred within a short time period just after 8:20 p.m. and that both victims described the suspected vehicle as a dark-colored SUV. 

One of the victims, a first-year bioscience major who requested to be anonymous, described their experience and their actions immediately following the initial shot. 

“I was in the bike lane and a car drove beside me and I suddenly felt a sting in my back,” the student said. “I didn’t really know what happened but I looked at the car that was passing me and I saw an airsoft gun hanging out of the window. I started yelling at them and I tried to chase them with my bike down the road but they sped off before I could catch their license plate and everything.”

Due to their quick response to the shot, the victim stated that they were able to offer information to the police regarding the specific type of gun and the model of the vehicle. The student offered advice for others involved in a future incident of the same nature. 

“For a lot of people, the initial shock of it can throw you off, and then you can miss really pertinent information,” the student said. “I think the best way to respond is to try to get as much information [about] the perpetrator as possible, like the color of the car, who the person is, the type of gun it was and especially the license plate.” 

These incidents were the second on-campus BB gun crime that has been reported this quarter. On Sept. 27, victims were hit by an unknown suspect on the corner of La Rue Rd. and Orchard Rd., according to a crime alert that was sent out the following day. According to the report, no victims involved requested medical attention.

Earlier this year, on April 1, another drive-by incident of a similar nature occurred when a group of students gathered atop the parking garage on Hutchinson Drive for a club social event. 

According to Cecelia Wong, a third-year biomedical engineering major who attended the event, a Jeep turned a corner at rapid speed and began shooting at the group of students with what looked like a BB gun, hitting multiple of them. Wong was one of those who was hit, and she described the incident. 

“When I saw the car zooming around the corner, I actually thought they were going to [run into] us because they were going so fast,” Wong said. “We were all standing in a big group together and we couldn’t see anyone’s faces but we saw guns pointing out the window.” 

Wong noted that the group later analyzed the bullets and determined the gun was likely not a BB gun but rather a water pellet gun due to the watery, gel substance of the pellets. Despite the relatively harmless nature of the bullets, the event left the students shaken up.

“We didn’t really react because it was so fast, but everyone felt the shots of getting hit,” Wong said. “We were all in shock and didn’t really move. We all just stood there and then soon the car drove down the parking garage and sped off.” 

Due to the rapid speed of drive-by incidents, law enforcement officials explained that it is difficult for victims to quickly identify those involved in the shootings, and therefore, the police are not able to make prosecutions related to the incidents. 

Doug Voska, the Patrol Lieutenant for the UC Davis Police Department, noted that one common theme of the events tends to be the areas surrounding Russell Boulevard, which he described as the dividing line between UC Davis and the city of Davis. However, according to Voska, the lack of information regarding the suspects’ identities and their motives makes the search for them difficult. 

 “I don’t know why [incidents like these] are happening,” Voska said. “I don’t know if it’s maybe something done by high school kids [as a prank], but we haven’t received a whole lot of information that we could consider actionable.” 

Though there haven’t been any prosecutions so far, Voska highlighted the importance of being aware of one’s surroundings for the sake of personal safety and in order to retain information that could lead to a successful prosecution.

 “It is unfortunate, but it seems to be that now we have to be aware of cars that are passing by,” Voska said. “But if people are on notice that this is happening, and they’re aware of their surroundings, then if something does happen, they can get a better description.” 


Written by: Rachel Gauer — campus@theaggie.org