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Family caught in middle of O.C. gang shooting

March 15, 2010 12:07:34 AM PDT
A family was shot outside an apartment in Anaheim on Sunday night. Authorities said they were the unintended victims of a gang shooting.The husband, wife and their 6-year-old daughter were all rushed to the hospital and are recovering on Monday. The mother and her daughter have been treated and released, while the father remains hospitalized.

Police said the couple and the young girl were simply standing outside on the 600 block of Avon Place when they were shot by a suspected gang member at about 8 p.m.

A witness said he was standing in the driveway with the family of three, who had come from Santa Ana to purchase a vehicle. They were completing the paperwork when the suspect appeared.

When authorities arrived, they found the victims on the ground in a driveway. The father was wounded in the back and one of his legs, the mother was shot in the leg and the 6-year-old was shot in the foot.

Police said the shooting stemmed from an argument between the suspect and another man. Police do not believe the gunman was aiming at the family.

According to Sgt. Tim Schmidt from the Anaheim Police Department, the suspects came to the area looking for rival gang members.

"They found somebody, what they thought was a gang member from a rival gang, and that family was just standing behind him in the distance and was hit by the gunfire," Schmidt said.

Acting on tips from witnesses and residents, investigators were able to track down and arrest two known gang members, an adult and a juvenile, both residents of Anaheim, Schmidt said. They are being charged with aggravated assault, along with some gang-related crimes.

"Gang violence is something that everybody, every law enforcement agency is trying to combat. These victims are true victims in every aspect. They had nothing to do with what occurred," Schmidt said.

Police believe there may be more suspects involved. Anyone with information is urged to call the Anaheim Police Department at (714) 765-1944.