SJPD seeks public's help in solving string of violent crimes

San Jose police investigators are asking for the public’s help in solving several violent crimes Wednesday.

Warm weather and a Cinco de Mayo celebration ended with multiple shooting victims and one homicide.

"Unfortunately we see it time and again. Think about the last time a city won a major sports championship," said Greg Woods, a professor in the San Jose State University Department of Justice Studies.

San Jose police said the first reports of violence came in around 8 p.m. A bullet-riddled windshield tells part of the tale, as two men were shot in the 900 block of East Santa Clara Street near Roosevelt Park. One of the victims died, marking the 15th homicide in the city of 2021. The other was treated at a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

San Jose police requested additional officers from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, and the City of Santa Clara, as multiple sideshows moved around the city.

"Even with these additional resources, the number of critical incidents that went on in this city overwhelmed the number of officers we had," said Steve Aponte, a San Jose Police Dept. officer and spokesman.

Two hours after the two men were shot near Roosevelt Park, two men showed up at two different San Jose hospitals. Both said they had been hit by gunfire at a street "sideshow" near Monterey Highway and Southside Drive.

"With this, these sideshow incidents bring violence. Bring gunfire. Display of arms and guns, as well as logjam and gridlock on our city streets," said Aponte.

Witnesses told KTVU they heard gunshots at the time police reported this, the second double shooting of the night. Investigators say both victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

While police seek the public’s help, one expert said a better partnership between law enforcement and the community could help solve – or even prevent these kinds of crimes.

"If we have a number of people whether it be at Roosevelt park, whether it be at a sideshow, all of those people are recording a circumstance as it’s unfolding. This is evidence that very well might be shared with law enforcement," said Woods. Added Aponte, "That’s why asking for the public’s help is so important. If they can provide a vehicle, or video linking one sideshow to another right before this incident happened, we really want them to come forward."

San Jose police won’t comment on what changes will be made, if any, as the weather warms heading into the post-Cinco de Mayo weekend. They ask anyone with information about the shootings to call homicide detectives.