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By Mike Hazlip—
A Valentine’s Day shooting in Citrus Heights left a man with a gunshot wound outside an apartment complex, in what police believe was likely a drug robbery.
Police Lt. Michael Wells told The Sentinel in an email Wednesday that officers responded to the Montage apartments at 12801 Fair Oaks Boulevard just after 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. A 34-year-old male was located with a gunshot wound to his leg and was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries, he said.
Wells said two individuals were seen fleeing the area after the shooting, and police are still pursuing leads related to the suspects. An initial investigation points to a drug robbery.
“Inside the apartment officers located a significant amount of narcotics and currency which suggests the victim was likely involved in narcotics sales,” he said. “The initial investigation indicates that the two suspects and victim were known to each other and the shooting was the result of a narcotics robbery (drug rip-off).”
Two office employees at the apartment complex on Tuesday said they were not aware of any incidents, but were not at the office during the time police said the shooting occurred. A neighbor across the street also said he was not home at the time, but noted police activity is not uncommon for the area.
Monday’s shooting is at least the third such incident this month. The Sentinel reported on a Feb. 3 incident involving two men with gunshot wounds found in a vehicle on Capital City Freeway. Both victims were transported to area hospitals, and the investigation led officers to Turner Court in Citrus Heights where police found spent bullet casings.
In an unrelated incident, a man was shot and killed on Feb. 1 in the area of Gallant Circle, near Sylvan Corners. Police said officers responded when a man called 911 saying he had shot someone in his driveway. No arrests were made and police have only released limited information about what led up to the shooting.
Police Chief Ronald Lawrence said in an email statement that despite these recent incidents, violent crime in Citrus Heights is down so far this year, based on reporting statistics comparing Jan. 1 through Feb. 7 with the same time period last year.
“None of these few isolated incidents in January and February are believed to be random, and it is believed the victims and assailants in each incident knew each other,” Lawrence said. “Despite these few incidents, violent crime, as well as crime overall, in Citrus Heights is down from last year.”
Lawrence also said crime in Citrus Heights has “trended downward for the past four years,” crediting the work of police to partner with residents and businesses to help make arrests and reduce crime.
Wells said police are asking anyone with information about the Valentine’s Day shooting to contact the Citrus Heights Police Department at (916) 727-5500.
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