Today: Gang violence conference in EPA

Federal, state and local law enforcement officials uniting for day-long event

Gang violence in East Palo Alto is the subject of a day-long conference that will bring federal, state and local law enforcement officials to the city today, a police spokeswoman said.

The East Palo Alto Police Department is hosting the conference with the aim of gathering intelligence from multiple agencies and formulating a plan to target the Norteno and Sureno gangs and gang members, Officer Veronica Barries said.

The surge in efforts to combat gang violence comes as a reaction to the fatal shooting of a 3-month-old baby on June 5, Barries said. Investigators believe that the baby and his parents, Ivonne Garcia Lopez and Oscar Jimenez, were shot when gunmen mistook them for Sureno gang members, acting Capt. Jeff Liu said.

One of the suspected gunmen, 17-year-old Fabian Zaragoza, was allegedly beaten up by Surenos on May 31, Liu said. Officials from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Association, the state Department of Justice, San Quentin state prison, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, and police and sheriffs from neighboring communities are expected to attend the conference.

The event is being held at the Four Seasons at 2050 University Ave. beginning at 9 a.m. Zaragoza has been charged with murder as an adult and is expected to enter a plea in San Mateo County Superior Court on July 13.

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jul 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

It would be interesting if the public was invited for their input or information. Many residents are often mistaken as accomplices who actually live in fear of retaliation. Community inclusion and support if vital. If they focus on EPA, the criminals spill over and inferst other communities, similar to smoking out cockroaches.

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