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Three Arrested After Targeting Homeless People

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Sonora, CA – Three men have been arrested after an overnight BB gun shooting spree where they shot at three people, hitting two before they were caught.

Sonora Police report the shootings started on Saturday (10/7) night at about 10 p.m. and continued into the early Sunday morning hours. Officers responded to three reports of shots fired. The first was at Woods Creek Rotary Park off Stockton Street in Sonora, where two transients reported being shot at with a BB gun. One was hit in the back. Then, around 2:30 p.m., another man reported being shot at with a BB gun while walking on Washington Street but was not injured. But this time, the victim was able to give a description of the suspect’s vehicle as an orange and brown box-shaped vehicle.

About two hours later, around 4:45 a.m., a male reported being shot in the leg in the area of Snell Street and Spring Hill Road. During questioning, the victim told officers he was walking northbound on Snell when an orange Honda Element passed by, and he was shot in the leg as the vehicle continued northbound on Snell Street and then onto Racetrack Road.

During the investigation, a possible vehicle match was made, and officers responded to the unidentified address. Ironically, as officers were checking the area, they spotted the vehicle and pulled it over. Behind the wheel were 18-year-old Matthew Clements of Sonora and the two passengers, 18-year-old Vincent Gavello and 18-year-old Dominic Thomas.

During questioning, officers learned of their intent to target homeless people and uncovered the BB gun. Subsequently, all three were arrested. Clements for assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit a crime, and driving under the influence, and Gavello and Thomas for conspiracy to commit a crime.

Although no one was seriously hurt, the investigation is ongoing as police believe more people may have been victims.

“We are actively working with the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office on this investigation,” advised CPL Thomas Brickley with the SPD.

Anyone with information regarding these shootings or who may have been assaulted is asked to contact the Sonora Police Department.

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