SAN JOSE -- Two more suspects have been arrested in the Aug. 3 death of a San Jose State nursing student caught in a crossfire downtown, and detectives are now declaring gang motives played a role in the shooting, according to the San Jose Police Department.
Caris Warren, 22, and Jessie Grant, 23, both of San Jose, were arrested Thursday in connection with the slaying of 19-year-old Kimberly Chico, an aspiring nurse from East San Jose who was in a car driving near Third and East San Salvador streets when a stray bullet hit her.
The arrests of Warren and Grant in the shooting follow the Aug. 7 arrest of 23-year-old Johnny Lozano, also of San Jose. Police said Chico was an innocent victim in a "wrong place, wrong time" scenario.
Chico's death was seen as particularly shocking given the random nature of her death and that it happened as patrons were spilling out of downtown bars and clubs in the early morning.
Police did not explain the connections between Lozano, Warren and Grant, such as whether they were on the same side of the street shooting at another group of people or if they were shooting at each other. Prosecutors have charged all three with gang enhancements in their murder counts. When Lozano was initially charged, there was no gang enhancement.
Law enforcement sources previously told this newspaper that Lozano had gang affiliations. When he was arrested, he was caught by an officer working as part of a summer crackdown to tamp down gang violence. Police said they found him with illegal drugs and a handgun, which was being tested to determine potential links to Chico's death.
After Lozano's arrest, homicide detectives identified Warren and Grant as also being involved in the deadly shooting, which marked the city's 30th homicide of the year. On Aug, 29, they were tracked by the department's Covert Response Unit and arrested.
"The department's homicide detectives and covert response unit worked tirelessly to solve this case," said Lt. Michael Kihmm, commander of the homicide unit. "I commend the hard work these detectives devoted to solving this murder."
Until Wednesday's retroactive classification of Chico's killing as gang-related, there had been no gang homicides in the city since June 19 when a 16-year-old boy was shot execution-style by a gang mob near King Road and Virginia Avenue. That killing helped spur the gang-suppression detail that played a part in Lozano's arrest.
Anyone with information about the case can contact homicide detectives at 408-277-5283 or leave a tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP (7867) or with svcrimestoppers.org.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.