STOCKTON (CBS13) — The search for a one or more gunmen continues after a massive shooting in Stockton.
The shooting happened at a backyard party late Saturday night and ended in a hail of bullets and the death of a teenager. Police have identified that victim as Joe Xiong, 15.
Police say at least one person broke into the backyard of the home next door to the home in the 100 block of Lincoln and began shooting over the fence. Bullets hit a total of nine people. Xiong died Sunday morning.
CBS 13 spoke to a woman who said she was at the party when the shots rang out and was a cousin of Xiong.
She showed wounds where she said she was shot in the leg and was hit by shrapnel in her elbow.
“We thought it was firecrackers until people started dropping,” she said. “They put their hands over the fence and started shooting.”
As the family of Xiong copes with a loss, the question is why they were targeted.
“I think a reasonable person would say that there was someone or some persons that [the suspects] were interested in in that that yard,” said Stockton Police Department spokesman Ofc. Pete Smith.
Police say no motive has been ironed out, but they are not ruling out gang ties – something the woman CBS 13 spoke to vehemently denies.
“I have no idea what happened, why they targeted our house,” she said.
All of the other eight victims are expected to survive.
Police are still actively investigating the case, but do not have a suspect.
Despite the numerous shootings and murders in Stockton during the recent weeks, the 2011 murder rate is actually down. Last year at this time, there were 28 murders in their city, say police. So far this year, there have only been 20 murders.