State Parks con­firms con­cert had no per­mit

The Tribune (SLO) - - Front Page - BY MON­ICA VAUGHAN

Late-night gun­fire that in­jured five peo­ple on the Oceano Dunes in early May ap­par­ently rang through a crowd gath­ered for a con­cert that State Parks has con­firmed did not have a per­mit.

Whether State Parks man­age­ment was aware of the am­pli­fied event be­fore the shoot­ing is un­clear. State of­fi­cials did not an­swer ques­tions from The Tribune about whether rangers knew of the event or sev­eral al­leged fights in the crowd that a wit­ness de­scribed to KSBY.

“The on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the shoot­ing in­ci­dent at Oceano Dunes SVRA pre­cludes us from fur­ther com­ment at this time,” spokesper­son Glo­ria San­doval said.

Last year, State Parks rangers ex­pressed their con­cern for the pub­lic’s safety at parks across the state, and called for more rangers to be hired.

As of March 2019, State Parks em­ployed 442 peace of­fi­cers. There are 161 va­cant po­si­tions and the state Leg­is­la­ture re­cently ap­proved 54 new law en­force­ment po­si­tions, San­doval said.

If lo­cal rangers on duty did know about the con­cert at the south end of the Dunes, they did not shut it down.

The con­cert fea­tur­ing Hay­ward-based Banda La Peli­grosa ap­pears to have been un­der­way for hours the night of May 4 be­fore the mid­night

shoot­ing. Videos of the per­for­mance on Face­book show sev­eral mu­si­cians in­clud­ing a horn sec­tion on a stage with a full sound sys­tem erected for the event.

A com­ment on one video said band mem­bers ran when shots were fired. A mu­si­cian re­sponded, “fuimos a to­car no a que nos bal­azien,” or “we went to play, not to be shot.”

The band did not re­spond to The Tribune’s re­quests for com­ment.

Law en­force­ment of­fi­cers were called to the Oceano Dunes for shots fired at around mid­night the night of May 4. Five peo­ple were shot, six were hos­pi­tal­ized and all have since been re­leased, ac­cord­ing to news re­leases from the San Luis Obispo County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, which took over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion from State Parks.

Fran­cisco Orozco, 19, of Oak­land was ar­rested as the only sus­pect in the shoot­ing. He has since been charged with at­tempted mur­der.

In re­sponse to Tribune ques­tions about pub­lic safety and ranger staffing lev­els at State Parks, spokes­peo­ple for the state agency said shoot­ings in Cal­i­for­nia’s parks are rare.

“Cal­i­for­nia State Parks cares for the safety of all vis­i­tors. Our peace of­fi­cers work closely with the state’s net­work of lo­cal, state and fed­eral law en­force­ment agen­cies to pro­tect vis­i­tors to Cal­i­for­nia’s parks and to pro­vide mu­tual aid when needed,” spokesper­son Jorge Moreno said.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the as­sis­tance of the lo­cal law en­force­ment part­ners in our re­sponse to the re­cent ac­ci­dents and shoot­ing in­ci­dent at Oceano Dunes State Ve­hic­u­lar Recre­ation Area. Shoot­ings, like the one that oc­curred in Oceano Dunes, are rare in Cal­i­for­nia’s parks.”

He said that any peo­ple are wel­come to use a state park for an event, as long as they “sub­mit a per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion to de­ter­mine if the event meets the spe­cial re­quire­ments of Cal­i­for­nia State Parks.

“The per­mit process also al­lows the de­part­ment to de­ter­mine whether ad­di­tional lo­cal, state and fed­eral law en­force­ment re­sources for pub­lic safety will be needed for the event so the de­part­ment can plan ac­cord­ingly,” Moreno said.

Fran­cisco Orozco

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