EUGENE, Ore. - Police uncovered and disrupted a plot by street gang members to gun down rival gang members on Halloween day in retaliation for a botched drive-by shooting in September, the Eugene Police Department said Friday.
Both gangs have been put on notice that police are aware of all the details. Police believe that the shooting is now less likely to occur.
Patrols have been stepped up in the area where the shootings were to take place, and officers have been going door-to-door to provide information to citizens.
Police have also issued safety tips for trick-or-treaters.
“We believe we interrupted the potential for immediate violence between these two gangs,” said Detective Greg Harvey. “While we don’t wish to unduly alarm the public, it is important for everyone to be aware of these types of situations and report them to police. Gang activity can spill over to affect innocent bystanders and we want to prevent this type of thing from occurring in our community and neighborhoods.”
The investigation started the afternoon of Sept. 23 with a report of four criminal street gang members with a handgun driving in the Trainsong Park area of Eugene.
The Eugene Police Department discovered four members of the South Side Play Boy Sureno Trece criminal street gang drove to the area of Trainsong Park, where they located several members of the West Side Piru criminal street gang.
The South Side Play Boy Sureno Trece gang attempted to shoot a handgun at the rival gang from the vehicle.
Investigators learned that the gun malfunctioned, preventing the shooting.
After the Trainsong Park incident, police discovered a conspiracy by members of the West Side Piru criminal street gang to retaliate against the South Side Play Boy Sureno Trece gang for the attempted shooting.
Police said members of the West Side Piru gang had planned to locate members of the South Side Play Boy Sureno Trece gang in the area of the Churchill Village housing area on Halloween and shoot them.
The investigation is continuing.
Police have been going door-to-door in that neighborhood to provide information to residents in person where possible.
Police increased patrols in the area for at least a week, to provide a presence.
- Police advise residents to ensure good parental supervision and that children and adults go out in groups (which is always a good idea any).
- Residents and those in the area should be aware of any suspicious activity and report it quickly as you would any other suspicious activity that looks like it could be criminal.
Gangs are defined as a group of people who form an allegiance for a common purpose, who engage in criminal activity and who conform to one or more of the following traits.
- Share a common group name;
- Share common symbols, tattoos or graffiti;
- Share a common style of dress;
- Frequently congregate upon, or lay claim to a geographic location; and associate together on a regular or continuous basis.
In Eugene, gangs are spread out over the city and are not based on neighborhoods or schools, police said.
Police encourage anyone who sees a suspicious condition in conjunction with that criteria to please report it. Without the original caller, EPD would not have known about this at all, which would have led to further violent acts. This is a prime example that fighting street gangs criminal activity involves the community and neighborhoods in partnership with police.
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