Man hit in leg in Saturday gang shooting | NevadaAppeal.com

Man hit in leg in Saturday gang shooting

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Another gang-related shooting Saturday has left a 19-year-old Carson City man with a bullet in his leg and detectives finding it difficult to sort out the truth.

Umberto Garcia was hit once in the thigh with a small caliber bullet sometime around 8 p.m. Saturday near Woodside Drive, said Carson City Sheriff’s Detective Bob Motamenpour.

But the exact location and details of the shooting are sketchy because, like most gang shootings in Carson City, suspects and victims are evasive about what happened, he said.

“Garcia said that he was walking westbound on Woodside Drive toward Airport when suddenly shots came from a vehicle and hit him. He said as soon as he heard the shots he started running,” Motamenpour said.

Garcia’s version of events is in sharp contrast to what two witnesses reported to 911.

According to police records, the first caller said at 8:07 p.m. they heard three shots ring out in the 3100 block of Highway 50 East and then they saw a white SUV with chrome rims and tinted windows racing out of the Albertsons parking lot onto Woodside Drive. The second caller said she saw the actual shooting at the corner of Highway 50 East and Airport Road and described seeing the driver of a silver SUV, possibly a Nissan Pathfinder, fire at least two rounds at a white SUV. The silver vehicle then headed east on Highway 50 East and the SUV went into the Albertsons parking lot.

An hour later, a deputy, who was at the hospital on an unrelated matter, was approached by a nurse who told him someone with a gunshot wound to the leg had just walked into the emergency room.

Motamenpour said Garcia told investigators he ran back to his friend’s house after the shooting and his friend dropped him off at the hospital.

The investigator said officers were unable to locate any blood in the area where Garcia claimed he was shot.

“We searched the area and did not even see one drop of blood. You get shot in the leg, you are bleeding profusely, and there’s not a single drop of blood?” Motamenpour asked.

He said officers were also unable to find any bullet casings.

A white SUV stopped on Woodside Drive within an hour of the shooting contained three men believed to be members of the same gang as Garcia.

The vehicle was impounded after officers allegedly found a gun hidden under the dashboard mat.

All three were arrested on unrelated charges.

Salvador Maldanado, 24, was booked into the jail on suspicion of gross misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon, misdemeanor drunken driving and failure to use a turn signal. Ishmael Jose Pacheco, 24, was booked into the Carson City jail on suspicion of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. Omero Fierros Ortiz, 23, was originally arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle but during booking, a contempt of court warrant was found charging he was in violation of a sentence for drunken driving.

Saturday’s shooting comes 28 days after a Carson City 14-year-old was shot in the face on August Drive in another instance of gang-related gunplay.

Chris Piche was among a group of people allegedly called outside to confront a car of rival gang members. When someone inside the rival vehicle opened fire, Piche was struck in the face.

He remains in the hospital and doctors fear he will die or be paralyzed if the bullet, which rests in the back of his neck, shifts and severs an artery leading to his spine. The surgery is so risky, doctors are also refusing to operate, said Detective Dena Lacy.

Piche was transferred to an out-of-state hospital under an assumed name. He, too, has refused to cooperate with investigators, said Lacy, despite his parents’ fears that the gunmen may come next to harm them or his 8-year-old sister.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.