Three shot at large house party

Two adults, one juvenile hospitalized on Aug. 5 while leaving party with more than 100 people on Prospect Avenue


VISALIA – A large house party turned into a house of horrors last week when three people were shot shortly after leaving the home.

At 12:51 a.m. on Aug. 5, officers responded to a report of a large party with more than 100 people present in the 1500 block of W. Prospect Ave. where a fight broke out between people attending the party. As officers were working to break up the fight, several shots were fired east of their location at the intersection of Prospect and Giddings. 

“We believe the house party and shooting are related as multiple people were leaving the area as we arrived,” said Sgt. Damon Maurice, public information officer for the Visalia Police Department. 

Officers found one victim suffering from a gunshot wound and two more while they were tending to the first victim. The three victims, including two adults and one 17 year old juvenile, were transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center. The juvenile and one of the adults received non-life threatening injuries and are in stable condition. The second adult received life threatening injuries and is listed in critical condition. 

The Violent Crimes Unit and Crime Lab were called out to take over the investigation. There is no suspect description at this time and anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Det. Sorensen of at 559-713-4576.

Visalia Police Log

Monday, Aug. 6
At 12:58 a.m. at 600 S. Lovers Lane, a officer initiated a traffic stop for a registration violation in the parking lot of the AM/PM. While the officer was speaking with the occupants, the driver, 34-year-old Gerardo Ocegueda Leon, sped off at a high rate of speed, heading north on Lovers Lane, leading the officer on a short pursuit. The suspect recklessly drove the vehicle and then failed to stop for red lights before colliding with a metal pole at Lovers Lane and St. Johns Avenue. The driver then fled the vehicle on foot, leaving behind his passenger, 30-year-old Elva Flores. The officer was able to take Leon into custody after chasing him for several blocks. Officers located a loaded firearm and approximately 1 oz. of crystal methamphetamine in Leon’s vehicle. Further investigation revealed Leon has a prior felony conviction, precluding him from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Leon was also found to be a member of a street gang. Both suspects were booked at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility for the above listed charges.

Thursday, Aug. 2
At 10:43 a.m. in the 100 block of Locust Street, officers conducted a search warrant at Cali Ink. The search warrant was the result of a month long investigation into Michael Snitzer who had been identified as having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor. The investigation identified two additional adult victims that were sexually assaulted by Snitzer. During the course of the investigation, Snitzer was also found to be in possession of child pornography and had exchanged inappropriate material with a juvenile. Snitzer was booked at Tulare County Pretrial Facility on charges of unlawful sex with a minor, possession of child pornography, sending harmful matter to a minor, sexual battery, and digital penetration. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Det. Meier at 713-4211.

Friday, Aug. 3
The Visalia Police Department Traffic Unit conducted a DUI/Driver’s License checkpoint between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. at Akers Road and Tulare Avenue. During the checkpoint officers screened 427 vehicles, conducted 13 field sobriety tests, cited nine drivers for being unlicensed and arrested two for DUI, one for a misdemeanor and another for a felony as it was a fourth DUI offense. The checkpoint was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to “Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1.”

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