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Soquel Man Shot, Killed at Watsonville Apartment

The fatal shooting happened early Saturday.

A 19-year-old Soquel man was shot and killed outside a Watsonville apartment at 202 Manfre Road around midnight on Friday, according to the County of Santa Cruz Sheriff-Coroner. He had just left a party at the residence. 

The man suffered gunshot wounds to his chest and an arm, and was not breathing when deputies arrived, according to emergency radio traffic. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An 18-year-old female was also shot while leaving the party. She was chauffeured to the hospital by her boyfriend, where she was treated and released.

The street was cordoned off at the crime scene for several hours following the shooting to secure the area and allow investigation.

"Whether this incident is gang related is under investigation," the Sheriff-Coroner's release said.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, "witnesses said there were subjects wearing red and some wearing blue at the party, rival gang colors."

The identification of the victim is being withheld for notification of next of kin.

The man was killed in a neighborhood just outside of city limits. Manfre Road, lined with small homes, runs north between the Watsonville Municipal Airport and agriculture land. The homicide is the fifth in the county this year.

Three of the killings occurred in Watsonville, including where Aaron Hull, 36, killed his father, 62-year-old Stephen Hull of La Selva Beach, inside the younger man's Lawrence Avenue home. Aaron Hull then took his life.

The two other Watsonville homicides reportedly have gang ties: Isaac Ramirez, 20, was fatally shot at a party in April; on New Year's Day, outside a Pennsylvania Drive home.

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