Police struggle for break in shooting | NevadaAppeal.com

Police struggle for break in shooting

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

With a Carson City father on life support in a Reno hospital, investigators are finding nearly 100 partygoers unwilling to talk about what they know of an apparent gang-related shoot-out in an northeast Carson City neighborhood.

“We’re having trouble getting people to tell us what happened,” said Lt. Bob White. “They don’t want to be a snitch or thought of as a snitch.”

What investigators do know is that at about 9:26 p.m. Saturday outside a home on Longridge Drive, more than 21 shots were fired from three separate weapons at or among partygoers at a middle-school Halloween bash there.

According to the preliminary investigation, present at the party were members of three rival local Hispanic gangs.

“The homeowner said they were not invited, but they just showed up,” said Detective Bob Motamenpour.

Luis Martin Saavedra-Silva, 20, was shot at least once in the temple and Israel Ralla, 24, suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, arm and ankle. Though his wounds are serious, Ralla is expected to make a full recovery.

Saavedra-Silva has no police record in Carson City. According to a witness at the party, the married father of two children was only there to escort a younger relative on behalf of his mother-in-law. Saavedra-Silva’s wife is pregnant with a third child.

It’s not certain if he’s involved in gangs at all.

Israel “Muppet” Ralla has a lengthy criminal history. His name is connected to a number of gang-related incidents including the 1998 motel-room beating death of Sammy Resendiz and a shooting on Brown Street around Thanksgiving 2004.

In the Resendiz killing, Ralla, then 16, allegedly struck a American Indian woman during a party at a North Carson Street motel. The woman reportedly gathered 10 friends and returned to the party to confront Ralla but only Resendiz, two men and a woman remained. Resendiz was beaten to death, Carlos Lainez was injured and Juan Carlos Alegria was unhurt in a back room.

Alegria was killed May 25, 2004, in an unrelated shooting on Eighth Street.

In November 2004, Ralla was arrested on accessory charges in the shooting of Ceasar Munoz. Ralla stood accused of hiding alleged shooter Rigoberto “Pacas” Vega-Aguilar from police. Charges against both men were eventually dismissed when Munoz allegedly refused to testify.

White said Ralla did not appear to be attending the Halloween party, but had arrived at the house just before the shooting to pick up the 15-year-old brother of a friend.

During questioning by investigators, Ralla denied knowing anything about what started the shooting or who was involved, White said.

Saavedra-Silva was never able to communicate what happened. He has not been conscious since the bullet struck him in front of the home at 2654 Longridge Drive, said White. According to the Carson City Assessor’s Web site, the $330,000 home is owned by Margarita and Francisco Barrios. Attempts to reach the Barrios were unsuccessful. A call to the home Monday afternoon was answered by a Spanish-speaking woman who hung up following a request to speak to the homeowners.

“One hundred people and no one saw anything,” an incredulous Sheriff Kenny Furlong said Monday morning.

He said every available resource within his department is working this case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Carson City Sheriff’s Department at 887-2007 after hours or 887-2020 ext. 1410 during business hours.

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