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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Shooting in connection with an ongoing dispute between members of the "Folk" gang, and the Trinitarios

Confrontations between rival gang members led to one teen being shot and two others jailed on charges that they both fired handguns at him and another youth, according to police reports.The victim, identified in court records as "Raul H.," 17, of Nashua, was shot in the pelvis and right forearm, and remains in stable condition at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Detective Lt. Jeff Bukunt said Wednesday.The victim knew one of the suspects, Jeffrey Ramos, 17, of 75 Lock St., and detectives found and questioned Ramos Tuesday evening, according to police reports filed Wednesday in Nashua District Court.Ramos admitted to shooting in the direction of Raul H. and another youth with him, Cesar Walteros, 18, of 2 Friar Tuck Lane, but said he meant only to scare them, police reported. Ramos is accused of firing four rounds toward the youths. Ramos and another witness also implicated Silvio "Carlos" Torres, 20, of 43 Chestnut St., who is accused of firing a single round. Police found five, .40 caliber shell casings in the street at the scene.Both Ramos and Torres were jailed after arraignment Wednesday in Nashua District Court, with probable cause hearings scheduled next week. Ramos' bail was set at $160,000 cash, and Torres at $100,000 cash. Each faces felony assault and reckless conduct charges.The incident was the first gang-related shooting of a person in recent history in Nashua, Bukunt and Police Chief Donald Conley said, and Conley stressed that gang violence would remain a top priority for police."I want to make sure the community knows that this kind of act, people that involve themselves in this kind of behavior, it's going to end up being on our top priority list," Conley said. "We're going to go after them with everything we have. People are going to be held accountable, and it's zero tolerance for this kind of behavior."
Conley said he expects the two youths will receive significant prison sentences if convicted of the shooting, despite the fact that neither has any prior criminal record as an adult.Until police find the firearms, it may be impossible to determine which of the suspects actually shot Raul H. One of the bullets passed entirely through the teen's forearm, while the other lodged near his lower spine, and was surgically removed and seized as evidence, Bukunt said."The investigation is still very active and ongoing, and we are working toward recovering the weapons," Bukunt said, adding later, "Detectives in the YSD have been working around the clock on this investigation."Witnesses, the victim and suspects all indicated that the shooting was gang-related, as Raul H. and his friends are associated or members of the "Folk" gang, and the suspects are associates or members of the local Trinitarios. The two groups don't get along, for no particular reason, Bukunt said.
"The shooting was in connection with an ongoing dispute between two groups of suspected gang members," Bukunt said. Walteros and Raul H. had been hanging about outside 68 Ash St. with a group of other youths Monday night, and had just left in Walteros' car shortly before 11 p.m. when Raul H. spotted Ramos, Torres and Torres' 16-year-old brother Michael, witnesses told police.Raul H. and Walteros both got out of the car, and yelled back to his friends nearby, to warn them, he later told police. Michael Torres said both Walteros and Raul H. were yelling at them, police report.Handguns were drawn and police charge that Ramos fired four rounds, while Silvio Torres fired one. Michael Torres was already running down Buck Street when he heard the shots, and the other two youths followed hard on his heels, police reported.Several of Raul H.'s friends drove him to the hospital, police report.Police later got video footage from the home security camera of a residence on Buck Street, which shows the three suspects fleeing, although they were not immediately identifiable on the tape, according to court records.In addition to attempted assault charges, for allegedly firing at Raul H., Ramos and Torres each face reckless conduct charges alleging that they endangered Walteros, who was not hit, and a woman who was sleeping in a nearby home at 87 Ash St. Police recovered a round from the wall of her bedroom, which likely would have penetrated the wall had it not hit a stud, Bukunt said.Ramos is unemployed, and lives with his mother and brothers, he told Judge Brackett Scheffy. Torres works at a local laboratory equipment manufacturer, and also lives with his mother and younger brothers, whom he said he helps support.Police caught up with Torres at his home at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, but he declined to speak about the shooting, police report.


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