Witnesses describe chaos after former Chico State student is shot at party


CHICO, Calif. - At a Halloween party Tuesday, a former 21-year-old Chico State student was shot multiple times during a fight.

Chico Police said it happened at about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. This shooting was followed by two other incidents of shots fired, all believed by police on scene to be connected.

It's a night that brings many characters to Chico, both good and bad.

"Halloween is known for having out-of-towners," said Damian Jimenez, a Chico State student. Jimenez was the one who threw the party and said his house was full of them Halloween night, but the party went smoothly, until the end.

Witnesses said a fight broke out, then three gunshots rang out as nearly 200 people left the house on the 700 block of Normal Avenue. Police said the former Chico State student involved in the altercation was shot multiple times.

"I'm trying to get everybody out and I see who's on the ground, which is one of my best friends, and my immediate reaction is everybody has to get out of the house now," said Jimenez.

Witnesses said it was a chaotic scene.

"It was just terrifying honestly," said one man who preferred to remain anonymous. "It was very loud, 200 people just drunkenly running from a party. I just grabbed the nearest person and took off running, to find my friends to get out of there, and then on my way out, I saw the EMT and told him, 'hey man, I know you can't go in there, but it's gunshots'. It was honestly just pretty scary."

As soon as police arrived, they heard even more gunfire nearby.

The second round of shots came from the 600 block of Normal Avenue, half a block away. Then about an hour later, Chico Police said they responded to yet another report of shots fired near the intersection of N. Cedar Street and W. 2nd Avenue.

Neighbors said they watched as the police picked up three bullet casings from the street.

"Your heart immediately starts racing, I mean as soon as you hear the first shot, like you are wide awake," said Diana Avila. Avila lives in the apartments on Cedar Street and was sleeping, but woke up when she heard gunshots at about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"I thought it was right outside my window so I was really scared to move or do anything," Avila said.

Police believe this is an isolated incident, but neighbors said that doesn't make them feel anymore safe.

"The fact that this can happen again tonight is terrifying," said Avila.

Friends said the former Chico State student who was shot had a successful surgery and is expected to fully recover. Police said he remains at the hospital in stable condition.

At this point, police do not have a suspect or suspect description. They're asking anyone with information to contact the Chico Police Detective Bureau at 530-897-5820.

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