Sacramento Park Sniper Wounds 7 in Shotgun Foray

Times Staff Writers

At least seven people, including two children, were wounded Wednesday when a sniper fired two shotgun blasts into a noontime lunch crowd at a city park near the Capitol.

Four were taken to the University of California Medical Center where they were treated for relatively minor pellet wounds and released.

Three or four others were hit by the spray of birdshot, but they refused treatment or were treated at the scene by paramedics who rushed with police to John C. Fremont Park.

The shooting occurred seven blocks from the Capitol. The neighborhood around the park is a mix of homes and small businesses and is generally described as peaceful.

Gunman Between 2 Houses

Police said the shots were fired by a gunman standing between two houses that face the southern edge of the square-block park. They said the gunman apparently fled between the houses and escaped through an alley.

Sgt. Bob Burns said none of the victims or witnesses could provide a detailed description of the gunman. "They saw the muzzle flash from the second blast," he said.

Officers said they were puzzled about what motivated the shooting.

Pellets were embedded in a children's swing near where the victims were shot.

"We were sitting at the bench and something hit me in the chest and I got one in the arm," said Valerie Garrett, 28, who was spending the lunch hour with Dianna Lenerd, 18. Lenerd said she was hit in the arm. Both work nearby for a copying firm.

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