Crime

Paso Robles man a victim of a drive-by shooting, niece says

The niece of a slain Paso Robles man says her uncle was the victim of a drive-by shooting.

“We’re just really afraid right now,” the woman said Tuesday, asking that she not be identified by The Tribune because of fears for her family’s safety. “We don’t anyone else in our family to get hurt."

Police have not released details of the shooting or discussed why it might have occurred. The investigation is continuing.

Victor Hugo Sanchez, 37, was shot late Saturday outside an apartment complex on the 3100 block of Spring Street. His niece, who shared an apartment with Sanchez, her husband and a cousin, said she remembers hearing two shots that night.

“They didn’t really sound like shots. They sounded like fireworks,” she recalled. When she ran outside, she found Sanchez lying on the ground, surrounded by concerned neighbors. “He was bleeding a lot,” the woman said.

A few people called 911, while a man who lives in the apartment complex started CPR, she said. Paso Robles police Lt. Ty Lewis said the incident was reported to police at 9:27 p.m. By the time emergency personnel arrived at 9:33 p.m., Sanchez was already dead, Lewis said.

Asked who might have wanted to hurt her uncle, Sanchez’s niece said, “We don’t have any clue who did this.”

“He was always very nice, peaceful. He got along with his neighbors,” the woman said of Sanchez, a soccer coach. “He was very well known and very well liked by the whole community here in Paso Robles.”

She also stressed that “none of our family members have been involved with drugs or gangs.”

However, Sanchez’s niece said, her uncle had been involved in an incident that landed him in the hospital some months ago. And she said her mother and another uncle have recently received verbal threats.

“My family is really afraid to take our kids to school,” she said.

According to police, Sanchez’s death “was the likely result of apparent gunshot wounds.” An autopsy is pending. Numerous calls to the Police Department were not returned Tuesday. Detectives are continuing to investigate 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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