Around 3 a.m. April 28, four residents of an apartment on the 900 block of West Avenue awoke to the sound of an intruder forcing open a living room window and crawling into the apartment. The intruder then opened the front door for a second suspect.
The residents were confronted with gang challenges and threats while one suspect brandished a gun and ordered them to hand over cash, according to a Santa Rosa Police Department media release. As the heated encounter escalated, a suspect pistol-whipped one of the victims, causing head and facial injuries.
The struggle continued as one victim managed to escape the apartment and call 911 from a cell phone.
Fighting continued as police officers peered into a window and witnessed victims and suspects in a struggle. Officers forced entry through the front door and detained the two suspects while grabbing the loaded firearm. The youngest suspect refused to comply with the officers’ orders and had to be forced to the ground, police said.
Based upon the initial statements from the victims and the identity of the teenage suspects, police said the incident appeared to be gang-related.
“The four victims do not appear to have any known history of gang or drug involvement,” explained Sgt. Rainer Navarro. “The suspects appeared to have targeted the victims because of a possible disrespect issue in the past.”
The victim who was injured in the attack was treated and released at the scene for non-life threatening injuries, Navarro added.
Michael Lira, a 19-year-old Santa Rosan and reputed active gang participant, was arrested for residential robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm, burglary, criminal threats, and two gang enhancements. He was booked at the Sonoma County jail and bail was set at $500,000.
The 13-year-old Santa Rosa resident and gang member was arrested for the same violations and a probation violation. He was taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries sustained during the arrest and later taken to the Sonoma County Juvenile Justice Center.
This incident is being investigated by the Santa Rosa Police Department Gang Crime Investigations Team.