Police / Fire

Police respond to shootings and arson over Memorial Day weekend

HPD investigating vehicle that crashed into barricades on San Benito Street.

Information provided by the Hollister Police Department.

In a May 26 press release, the Hollister Police Department said it responded to several calls for service over Memorial Day weekend, including shootings, car collisions, and arson.

On May 23 around 9 p.m., officers responded to a report of shots fired in the area of N. Chappell Road and Pacific Way. Officers observed a black Chevy Tahoe speeding from the area and attempted to stop the vehicle, but were led into a short pursuit before the driver abandoned the car, ran through a home and out a back window before jumping fences and escaping, the release said.

When other officers arrived at the scene of the shooting, they found there had been two shootings within 10 minutes. Witnesses reported a mid to late 90s red Honda Civic occupied by several men wearing red bandanas, covering their faces. The release said the Honda drove toward two men who were standing by a parked car in the area, and one of the occupants made a gang-related statement toward the two men. One of the occupants of the Honda then shot at the car and the two men several times. The men were not shot, but the car was hit several times.

According to police, a short time later a black Chevy Tahoe occupied only by the driver approached the same two men who were changing the flat tire that had just been shot. The driver of the Tahoe shot at the man changing the tire several times, striking him once. The release said the shooter fled the scene and was subsequently chased by the police, but escaped. The shooting victim suffered one, non-life threatening injury and is expected to recover.

This is an ongoing investigation and police are asking for witnesses to please come forward with any additional information.

On May 24 around 12:10 a.m., police responded to a call of shots fired at Central Avenue and Towne Alley. The release said that officers discovered a male shooting victim had driven to the area to drop someone off, and was exiting Towne Alley when a newer grey colored vehicle turned into the alley from Central Avenue. Someone in that car then started shooting at the victim and his vehicle. The victim drove away from the shooting area, but crashed into a parked vehicle, a fence and then a home, police said. The shooting victim was uninjured in the incident. Police are also asking for any additional witnesses or anyone with information about this shooting to contact the Hollister Police Department.

On May 24 around 12:30 a.m., a vehicle crashed through the barricades closing off San Benito Street for weekend activities. A 2017 dark grey Mustang was seen driving at a high rate of speed on San Benito Street before crashing into the cement barricades. Police said the impact launched the Mustang into the air, which came to rest several hundred feet from the intersection of South Street.  The driver was transported to a trauma hospital with major injuries. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Police and fire personnel responded to an arson fire behind Hollister City Hall on May 25 around 7 p.m. The release said someone set fire to a porta-potty located there due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fire destroyed the porta-potty and damaged a city vehicle and part of the building. The release said police identified the suspect as transient Marcos Antonio Moraga, 46. He was later contacted and arrested by police for the arson.

Anyone with information regarding these investigations is requested to contact the Hollister Police Department at 831-636-4330. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

BenitoLink Staff