Two young men shot during drive-by in Antioch Tuesday morning

Antioch Police officers mark the locations of bullet casings from the shooting on Aspen Way, Tuesday morning, March 9, 2021. Photo courtesy of Mike Burkholder.

One victim in critical but stable condition, the other in critical condition; the city’s sixth shooting in less than a month; unknown suspect(s) sought by police; mayor makes comments about today’s, recent shootings during Tuesday night council meeting

By Lieutenant John Fortner, Antioch Police Department

On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, at approximately 11:14 AM, Antioch police officers were called to the 2100 block of Aspen Way on the report of a subject that was shot in the street.

Numerous officers responded to the scene and located a sedan stopped in the street with several bullet holes in it.  The vehicle was unoccupied.  Officers quickly learned that the vehicle was occupied by two male victims who were wounded and fled to a nearby residence.  The suspect(s) responsible for the shooting fled the scene in a vehicle and were not located.

The victims, 21- and 22-years-old, were found to have both been shot.  Officers immediately began providing first-aid and called for emergency paramedics.  Ultimately, both victims were transported to local area hospitals.  One was transported by ambulance, and the other was transported by helicopter.

The victims in this case appear to have been targeted by the suspect(s). Currently, the 21-year-old victim is listed in critical but stable condition, and the 22-year-old victim is listed in critical condition.

Antioch Police Department’s Crime Scene Investigators and Detectives with the Violent Crimes and Special Operations Units responded to the scene and took over the investigation.

Currently, detectives are working to identify any suspects or persons-of-interest. The investigation is still active, and evidence is being collected and evaluated.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441.  You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

During Tuesday night’s council meeting, Mayor Lamar Thorpe spoke about today’s shooting and the others in Antioch, recently.

“They continue to be unfortunate. Our police department, our police chief and this council are committed to keeping our city safe,” he said. “If we have to, look at overtime or more funding for crime tips, whatever that may be.”

“There are going to be individuals…there will be people who will try to politicize these issues, as some tried to politicize police reform,” Thorpe continued. “We are above the rhetoric. We are here to do a job. Some of the misconceptions out there being promoted…is that we are trying to defund the police department. The city council has had no policy around trying to defund the police department.”

Regarding the politicization of the issues he concluded, “It’s not right and we aren’t participating.”

Earlier in the day, Thorpe posted the following comment on his mayoral Facebook page:

“Just briefed by our Chief of Police about another tragic shooting in our community. While this uptick in gun violence is being seen in many places throughout our Nation, it is still unacceptable and we shouldn’t settle for it.

In my conversation with the Chief, I informed him that if deemed necessary by the Antioch Police Department, I would seek immediate crime suppression budgetary support from the Antioch City Council.

As mayor, I have identified the following three areas where financial support may have an immediate impact on crime suppression. The areas are as follows:

  • Police officer overtime;
  • Gun buybacks; and
  • Reward Dollars for Crime/Crime Prevention Tip Hotline

As mayor, I have made it clear that Antioch will always prioritize the safety of our community, as we will never waiver from our goal of making our city one of the safest in the state. Having only served as mayor for three months, it is moments such as the current situation in Antioch that further strengthen my resolve to reform the Antioch Police Department.

Certain reforms will build an atmosphere of trust among certain communities in order to help police prevent crime and others will refocus officers’ attention on more serious crimes vs. some mental health and homelessness 911 calls.

In the coming days, I’ll be meeting with experts from Moms Demand Action and other similar organizations to learn more about community violence prevention models for Antioch.”

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