Rival gangs fire more than 50 bullets at each other in Stockton — killing an innocent bystander

There was the crackle of gunfire, a pause, and then more shots. Then came an eerie, nighttime silence.

Following a furious gun battle between rival gangs in a Stockton, Calif., neighborhood Friday night, only one person was struck – an innocent, 57-year-old father who was talking on the phone in his home before he was killed.

“We got multiple 911 calls saying there’s people shooting at each other and right now we have no suspect information. No motive, no other victims,” said Stockton police Officer Joe Silva. “All we know is that there was a gun battle involving several different shooters.”

The barrage of gunfire could be heard clearly on security camera footage that Stockton police posted on Facebook.


Investigators believe more than 50 rounds were fired in the exchange and said several cars were hit by stray bullets.

One of the rounds pierced a window of a nearby house and struck Sor Rith, whose son told KCRA that his father was standing up and on the phone when he was the hit.

Rith’s wife found her wounded husband.

“He was on the ground, and she tried putting pressure on his chest – but he was already gone,” said the couple’s son, Cam Rith.


The shooting took place about 7:50 p.m. in the 800 block of W. Ponce De Leon Avenue, just a few doors down from Rith’s home, Silva said. The area is known for gang violence, he said.

“I hope this senseless gang violence ends,” Cam Rith said. “I lost my father. …To the people who did it: Get a life, get a job, stop killing each other.”

The shooting is the second time in recent months that an innocent bystander has been killed by gunfire in Stockton. In September, a 3-year-old girl was fatally struck by a stray bullet as she rode in a car with her family.


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