El Pasoans concerned about safety after three unrelated shootings in three days

Monday, March 24, 2014 - 2:38pm

El Paso Police responded to three unrelated shootings in three days, two of them deadly, and now some El Pasoans are concerned about public safety.

It was 2:30 Saturday morning when Efren Gonzalez, 22, was shot in a parking on the corner of Mesa and Robinson near the Cincinnati Entertainment District.

Sergio Sanchez said he spent part of his Friday night with Gonzalez at a nearby bar. At the end of the night, Sanchez said Gonzalez, who lives nearby, started walking home, and that's when a car approached Gonzalez. There was an argument between Gonzalez and someone inside the car, and they shot Gonzalez.

"It's just really terrible that he's gone at such a young age," said Sanchez.

Three hours later, in an unrelated case, police found Anthony Bowler shot dead inside a home on Warcloud in East El Paso. Police charged Alberto Antonio Mendiola, 25, with his murder.

According to investigators, Mendiola went to the house armed with a rifle and shot Bowler several times.

Mendiola's estranged wife and children were in the house. His wife had a protective order against him.

Sunday night, shortly before midnight, there was a third shooting at an apartment complex on Trojan Dr. in Northeast El Paso.

A man suffered multiple gunshot wounds. A 16-year-old boy who was with him also suffered minor injuries.

"I think it's a little bit shocking considering that El Paso's considered kind of safe here," said Teresa Mares, who lives in East El Paso.

Some El Pasoans said they think more police presence would help, while others think this type of violence is sometimes unpredictable.

"One weekend it could be the safest city in the U.S., another weekend it could be one of the most dangerous. Honestly, it's just a matter if factors, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and in Efren's case I think that's what it was," said Sanchez.


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