Napa’s gang issue may not be as large as San Francisco, Oakland or Vallejo’s but the problem surfaced again over the weekend in Napa with two shootings and a stabbing.
The Napa Police Department is searching for the gang members who are responsible for two separate shootings, one on Friday and the other on Saturday, that wounded two Napa men. In addition, police are also looking for the six men who assaulted a former gang member on Friday night.
This latest rush of gang violence began on Friday afternoon at a Collier Boulevard apartment complex. Police said that Steven Barrios, 18, of Napa, and several gang members went to the apartment complex at 3:48 p.m., on Friday in an attempt to get revenge for the alleged beating of Barrios’ brother earlier that day.
The gang members went inside the apartment complex’s parking lot, smashed a couple of car windows and yelled gang slurs to residents according to police reports. Police said that the group then went back to their vehicle, which was parked on the corner of Pine Street and Collier Boulevard, and saw a rival gang member drive by in a tan, extended-cab pickup truck that resembled a Dodge.
Police said that Barrios yelled a gang slur at the driver and the driver yelled a gang slur of his own, followed by a gunshot that grazed Barrios’ right wrist, causing him a minor injury. Barrios’ friends left the area and when police arrived they found a lone, wounded Barrios near the apartments. Barrios was taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
Friday afternoon’s gang violence was followed by evening violence when Eric Christiansen, 21, of Napa, walked into Queen of the Valley Hospital, and reported that he had been stabbed by gang members.
Police reports show that Christiansen was walking north on Beard Road, near Pear Tree Lane, at 11:42 p.m., when a gray town car driving south on Beard Road stopped ahead of him.
A man — described at 6 feet tall, with a bald head — got out of the car and said something to Christiansen as five other men were exiting the car.
Police said that the men told Christiansen that he was in gang territory and that Christiansen responded by telling them that the was a former gang member of their rival gang. The men then attacked Christiansen, punching and kicking him. During the attack Christiansen sustained a cut to the back of his head and a small puncture wound in the same area police said.
Christiansen managed to run away from the men and went to the hospital for treatment.
Then on Saturday around 5:20 p.m., police responded to Taco Loco Market on Avon Avenue to a report of a shooting.
Napa Police Sgt. John Kostelac said that a Hispanic man in his late teens was sitting in front of the market when a burgundy, mid ‘90s, four-door Honda drove past him. Kostelac said that a passenger yelled out a gang slur and shot the man in his upper left leg with a handgun. The car was last seen driving west on Kilburn Avenue and the shooter is described as a Hispanic male in his early ‘20s, bald, with a heavy-set build. The victim in this shooting, whose name was not available at press time, was taken to Queen of the Valley Hospital, where he was treated for the non-life threatening injury.
The Napa Police Department’s Gang Unit is investigating the three crimes and is determining if a link exists between the incidents.