GILROY -- Police are investigating the first homicide of the year after a 68-year-old man was slain and another man critically injured in a hail of gunfire Tuesday evening in front of Las Animas Park.
Numerous 911 calls reporting shots fired were received around 6:10 p.m., following a "physical struggle" between two males on Mantelli Street, which runs along the park, said Gilroy police Sgt. Pedro Espinoza. At least two other males got involved in the skirmish, then a gun was pulled out and the two victims were shot multiple times each, Espinoza said.
The 68-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene after unsuccessful lifesaving efforts by emergency personnel. The other, who is 34 years old, was taken by air ambulance to a trauma center with wounds considered to be life-threatening. As of late Tuesday, he remained in critical condition.
Both men have Gilroy addresses, police said.
Espinoza did not have additional information about the altercation but added that witnesses said the parties were not wearing gang colors and there was no initial indication that it was gang related.
Police are looking for a white compact car with two males inside that fled the scene. Officers remained in the area of the park after 8 p.m., processing evidence and interviewing numerous witnesses, Espinoza said.
Last year Gilroy had three homicides, Espinoza said.
Anyone with information about the shooting can contact Gilroy police at 408-846-0350 or the anonymous tip line at 800-782-7463.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.