Witnesses describe car seen leaving apartments after Paso Robles shooting

slinn@thetribunenews.comFebruary 27, 2013 

Witnesses spotted a car leaving the Paso Robles apartment complex where a man was fatally shot this weekend, police confirmed Wednesday.

Victor Hugo Sanchez, 37, was shot late Saturday outside an apartment complex on the 3100 block of Spring Street.

According to Detective Michael Rickerd, the lead detective investigating Sanchez’s death, multiple witnesses saw an older model gold or brown Honda leaving the scene after the shooting, which was reported at 9:27 p.m. The car turned onto Spring Street, he said, but there’s no indication which way it went.

Rickerd added that there is no evidence to indicate whether anyone got out of the vehicle or remained in it during the shooting.

“There are no witnesses to show this was a drive-by shooting” as one of Sanchez’s relatives has indicated, he said.

Sanchez’s niece, who asked not to be identified by The Tribune because of fears for her family’s safety, described his death as a “drive-by” and suggested that unknown assailants had threatened his life before. She also said that that her mother and another uncle had received verbal threats, but Rickerd said he was not aware of any threats to the family.

Although Rickerd said investigators are “actively working on leads,” he would not comment on whether police have identified any suspects. He was also tight-tipped about possible motives for the shooting.

“We have no information at that time that relates to this being gang-related or even drug-related,” Rickerd said. “We’re still looking into everything in (Sanchez’s) past history.”

Initial reports indicated that Sanchez died on the scene as a result of gunshot wounds.

As of Wednesday morning, an autopsy on Sanchez had yet to be completed, Rickerd said.

Detectives are still investigating the crime and want anyone with information to contact them. Anonymous tips can be left on the Crime Stoppers hotline at 549-STOP or by texting SLOTIPS plus a message to CRIMES (274637).

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