Shooting, retaliation part of ongoing gang war  

People react emotionally at the scene of a double fatal shooting that occurred at the community pool at The Village Apartments near the intersection of Newhall Avenue and Silverado Avenue in Newhall, Calif., on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Chris Torres/The Signal


Analysis of a series of shooting incidents over the past year paints an unmistakable picture: A gang war is afoot in the Santa Clarita Valley. 

A pair of shootings pieced together through the investigative work by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detectives demonstrate the growing violence and danger of the rivalry primarily between two local gangs, one based in Newhall and its rivals in Canyon Country.  

The Signal chooses not to name the gang affiliations as law enforcement officials have said it only encourages additional violence.  

This same violence makes for reluctant witnesses and investigations that can carry on for months while detectives wait for warrants and lab results and pour through phone logs, according to court records.  

Near the end of May 2023, in the wake of a double murder, a veteran SCV Sheriff’s Station investigator wrote to a judge about the SCV’s growing gang problem in a request for permission to look through a vehicle he linked to a crime, in court records obtained by The Signal. 

The statement references an escalation that began after a daytime shooting in March 2023 involving two gang members from Canyon Country killing two from Newhall at The Village Apartments. 

“(The two gangs) are rival criminal street gangs in the Santa Clarita Valley. In the midst of their rivalry, several shootings have taken place, and more recently a murder occurred in which a (Canyon Country) gang member allegedly murdered two (Newhall) gang members. In the wake of the double homicide, (Newhall) gang members have been more active with regard to gang tagging, shootings, and intimidation tactics.” 

The investigative details made public in April stem from a pair of deadly shootings that happened a couple of months after the detective’s sworn statements to the judge. 

There also have been several shootings in parts of Canyon Country and Newhall of late.  

The SCV Sheriff’s Station’s Juvenile and Gang Team, or JAG, is investigating a handful of shootings in recent months that have taken place in areas that have traditionally been associated with the gangs’ turf. 

Detectives have declined to discuss their most recent investigations, generally stating their efforts are ongoing and that answering questions beyond the scope of public record could compromise those efforts. 

Gang turf warfare 

On Sept. 20, station deputies and a detective with the station’s local gang unit responded to 14th and Walnut streets in response to a shooting.  

The victim was driving a white Toyota Tundra truck northbound on Walnut Street, toward 14th, when a black SUV passed them and slowed down, causing the driver to slow his truck. 

When he did that, a gray sedan pulled alongside the driver and a passenger in the sedan was heard yelling an expletive and then “Newhall,” a derogatory gang reference.  

The victim then heard the sound of a firearm being “racked” and saw a Hispanic man in the passenger seat firing into the vehicle, according to court records obtained by The Signal. 

One passenger in the Tundra was struck by gunfire in the torso and driven to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in the truck, according to court documents.  

Deputies recovered multiple types of rounds, including Factory National 5.7×28mm and other small-caliber handgun rounds, at the scene of the shooting on 14th. 

Deputies believe the sedan that targeted the truck drew gunfire less than two weeks later in the same neighborhood, according to detectives’ accounts in court records. 

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are investigating a reported shooting that occurred in Canyon Country on Wednesday evening. Oscar Sol/For The Signal.

Nine days later  

The same detective was on shift when patrol deputies were called out Sept. 29 to a shooting that happened almost at the same intersection, near 14th and Walnut. 

In this shooting, a victim was shot in the torso and driven to the hospital in a vehicle that matched the one seen by detectives following the truck nearly 10 days earlier, a gray Toyota Camry hybrid with a sunroof. 

A detective noted on his search warrant application for the Sept. 20 incident that he could hear the distinct sound of a hybrid motor whine before the car’s tires peeled out. 

Detectives reported the two teenagers who transported their friend to the hospital in the Sept. 29 shooting both were on active felony probation, which allowed detectives to search the car for evidence. 

Witnesses were able to place the suspects and victims together on the day of the second shooting at local carnival hosted by Our Lady of Perpetual Help church, according to court documents, which stated there was a confrontation at the event before one of the suspects was removed. 

Two of the suspects were juveniles and the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment on the case as of this story’s publication. 
The victim in the second shooting was sentenced May 1 for a conviction in an unrelated case to a charge of carrying a firearm in public. 
He was sentenced to 388 days, and given credit for time served of 179 days, as well as 179 days for “good conduct,” and released on bond May 2, according to records available from the DA’s office and LASD. 

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are investigating a reported shooting that occurred in Canyon Country on Wednesday evening. Oscar Sol/For The Signal.

More recent incidents  

There has been a string of shootings recently that have taken place in the neighborhoods where gangs have been battling. 

The recent incidents are still a part of active investigations, and detectives have declined to comment. 

• Shell casings were found at the scene of a reported shooting on Valle Del Oro and Via Canon in Newhall that happened around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. No victims were reported. 

• On April 21, one person suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and was transported to the hospital after a shooting on the 25000 block of Alicante Drive near Lupita Drive, according to SCV Sheriff’s Station officials. Deputies received reports of a shooting at 3:30 a.m. and arrived on the scene 10 minutes later, according to Deputy Adolfo Gonzalez of the SCV Sheriff’s Station.   

• On April 17, deputies responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call near the intersection of Jakes Way and Sandy Drive at approximately 7:45 p.m. and reportedly detained multiple people. Shell casings were found at the scene of the incident, but no injuries were reported.  

• On April 11, SCV Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to a report of “20 to 30 gunshots” around 10:30 p.m. in Newhall, but no one appeared to be injured by the gunfire, according to Sgt. Mark Perkins of the SCV Sheriff’s Station. Again, dozens of shell casings were found. 

• Shortly after 1 a.m. March 27, a woman reported that a man she did not know flagged her down at the intersection of Jakes Way and Sierra Highway. He had been shot in the chest and needed help, according to SCV Sheriff’s Station officials. No arrests have been made in that incident. 

The incidents are under investigation by the SCV Sheriff’s Station’s Juvenile and Gangs Team, which replaced the COBRA Unit (Career Offenders, Burglary, Robbery, Arson).  

Anyone with information about the incident can call the SCV Sheriff’s Station at 661-260-4000. Anyone can provide information anonymously by calling “Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-TIPS (8477), use a smartphone by downloading the “P3Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store or by using the website.   

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