Authorities: Two fatal Hwy 4 shootings in Bay Point gang related, linked

BAY POINT, Calif. (KTVU and wires) -- The Contra Costa County Sheriff's office announced late Wednesday morning that the two deadly shootings near Highway 4 in Bay Point are both gang related and believed to be linked.

Sheriff's Capt. Dan Hoffman said deputies responded around 10 p.m. to a report of a shooting on Willow Pass Road near the on-ramp to state Highway 4 in Bay Point.

Officers said a 26-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were in a white car when someone fired multiple shots at them.

"When [the deputies] arrived on scene, all parties had left the location," Hoffman said. "Shell casings were located by deputies as they scoured for evidence."

Both people suffered gunshot wounds, but one of them was still able to drive the car to John Muir Hospital in Concord.

Deputies were notified that the two victims had arrived at a hospital. Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee identified the woman who died as Patricia Ochoa.

Hoffman said Ochoa succumbed to her wounds but the Bay Point man was in stable condition and was expected to survive.

The shooting comes after a drive-by shooting on Saturday on Highway 4 near Bailey Road that killed 20-year-old Pittsburg resident Tomas Mendez, a father and a chef at a San Ramon restaurant.

That scene is about a mile away from Wednesday morning's shooting.

"At this time, we believe there may be some relevance between the two shootings," Hoffman said. "We believe these two incidents are gang-related."

Hoffman, citing the ongoing investigation, said he couldn't release information about which gangs may be involved or whether the victims in either shooting were involved in any gangs.

He did say he was concerned about retaliation.

"We're always concerned about gangs and retaliatory situations that may come up as a result of those," Hoffman said. "That's why we've reached out to some of the local agencies here that we work with on a very regular basis to make sure that they are with us in partnership in trying to eliminate gangs in these areas."

Hoffman said he is concerned that gang members "appear to have no fear and no worry" in committing the brazen shootings, one of which took place in broad daylight Saturday afternoon.

"I want to make sure the citizens of this fine community of Bay Point are safe when they are driving up and down the roadway," he said.

So far, investigators have not released details of suspect descriptions and no arrests have been made.

One Bay Point resident, Fernanda Vargas, said she was afraid to go to the grocery store or drive to her parent's house in the area.

"I was born and raised here and it wasn't like this when I was growing up," Vargas said. "It wasn't like this where you had to worry about getting in your car and going to the store. It's scary. I'm worried."

She said she'd like to see local officials provide more opportunities for young people, many of whom come from low-income families and don't have anywhere to go after school.

"There's nothing for them out here," Vargas said. "There're no parks, there's nothing but trouble."