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Girl, 3, Injured in Drive-By Shooting

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 3-year-old girl was injured in a drive-by shooting early Wednesday as two men in a car fired at her father, who was sitting on the front porch of the house where a woman was killed in a drive-by shooting two years ago.

Shortly after Wednesday’s shooting, the Southeast San Diego neighborhood was terrorized with random gunfire, according to residents.

Authorities initially believed the first shooting might be gang-related, but the Police Department’s gang unit ruled out that possibility and turned over the investigation to Southeast Division police officials, said Lt. George Saldamando of the gang unit.

The wounded girl’s father said neighbors reported seeing several shots fired later from the same car at people, parked vehicles and a bar. It was not known whether those shootings had been reported to police or whether they were being investigated.

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Connie Jackson was treated at Children’s Hospital for a single gunshot wound to her left arm and was in good condition when she was released from the hospital at noon Wednesday, a hospital spokesman said.

The bullet passed through her arm, nicking a bone but causing no serious damage, the spokesman said. No surgery was required.

“She doesn’t have much pain. She’s OK,” said her father, Edward Jackson, 26.

Two years ago, on June 14, 1988, Eugenina Astorga, 33, was in the same room of the Quail Street house when she was killed in a drive-by shooting. Police said that shooting might have been gang-related. No arrests were made.

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Jackson said he was sitting on his front porch in the 600 block of Quail Street at 12:55 a.m. after returning from a nearby store to buy a drink and cigarettes when a gray Honda Civic carrying three young men drove by going north.

“I was keeping my eyes open, watching things, because this is a dangerous neighborhood, and I saw this car and they were looking at me,” Jackson said.

The car returned three minutes later, headed south and carrying two men this time, and the passenger fired four or five shots, Jackson said.

“I saw the flames from the gun and rolled over and ran in the house and grabbed my gun and fired back” three times, said Jackson, who was not wounded. He said he did not know if he hit the car or its occupants.

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One of the assailant’s bullets went through a window of the small house and into the living room, where Jackson’s six young children were sleeping on a blanket. Connie was the only one injured.

“I didn’t think anyone had been hurt, but then I saw my baby bleeding and flipped out,” Jackson said.

Jackson, who moved here from Los Angeles last summer, said much of the crime and violence in the area are gang-related and that the gunmen probably thought he was a rival gang member.

He said he belonged to a gang when he was younger and sometimes is mistaken for a gang member because of his dreadlock hairstyle and colorful clothing.

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“There’s a lot of (street gang violence) going on around here,” he said.


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