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2 women shot dead near downtown Napa; witnesses say gunfire followed argument

2 dead in Napa Saturday-night shooting
2 dead in Napa Saturday-night shooting 03:02

NAPA -- Two young women were shot and killed just a few blocks from downtown Napa Saturday night. Police haven't released many details but neighbors say it appears that an argument quickly escalated to gunfire.

"This is our safe space. This is our home. So to find out that it happened here was really shocking," said Napa resident Katelyn Gardella.

At 8 o'clock Saturday night, police responded to the 400 block of Riverside Drive. There, they found two people lying in the street near the clubhouse for the local Sea Scouts organization. Branden Perez was working on his car across the street and said he first heard people arguing, followed by a number of loud pops.

"Right after the shots, you see the person sprint with everything they got into a car that was somehow parked right around the corner and then just slowly drives by. But when that happens, it just took off instantly," Perez said. "We go and check out what's going on and we see that this person's got a couple of shots in them. And I try to go check out the person to see if they're OK. They weren't OK."

The two victims were both young women. One died at the scene and the other reportedly died in hospital. That's all police have said as of late Sunday afternoon. 

Napa Shooting Scene
Police at the scene of a deadly shooting in Napa early Sunday morning, Apr. 14, 2024. KPIX

Those who live in the Riverside Drive area said it feels like things are changing for their neighborhood and their town.

"It just kind of sucks to see our super-calm town do this," Perez said. "Because I remember, as a kid, you never had to worry about none of this. None of this. And now it's slowly popping up everywhere."

"I don't know, you just never know what's going on when you're running around on the streets like that, whether it's Napa or anywhere," said Joseph Monge, who was born and raised in Napa. "It's everywhere. Guns are everywhere, drugs are everywhere. Napa's a beautiful place to raise a family but, like I said, these guns and drugs are everywhere. No matter what it is. They're in every city."

Gardella said she thinks the problem lies more with the people than the place.

"Something's changed here in town. People are just getting more and more violent and more and more willing to do stupid things that cause people to lose their lives," she said. "What is happening to our town? I just don't know. I don't know what makes people spring to violence so quick."

Some blame the violence on an increase in gang activity, a problem recently plaguing schools in Santa Rosa, as well. Police aren't saying if these latest shootings were gang-related and they certainly don't fit the image of Napa. Regardless of place and for whatever reason, it is becoming alarmingly common for people to respond to the slightest insult with deadly force.

On Tuesday, Napa police announced the arrests of three suspects in connection with the case.

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