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A Violent 24 Hours: Police Investigate 3 Homicides in Stockton

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STOCKTON --

Gunshots turn a calm afternoon into a crime scene -- forcing Stockton police to launch their third homicide investigation in just 24 hours.

"It's crazy... doesn't make any sense," said Stockton native Preston Thornton.

"Just heard a gun shot," said Thornton's stunned  friend, Jose Castillo as he stared at a zig-zag maze of crime scene tape, criss-crossing police cars.

"There's kids that go to school here. They play on the street. When gunshots start flying, there's no names on 'um," Thornton said.

On the heels of a 19-year-old man being shot to death in his car on Hammer Lane and a 42-year-old being gunned down on Calandria Street, police say a 26-year-old Cambodian man was targeted as he stood in the driveway of this home on Bancroft Way.

"Some type of a small black car pulled up, occupant got out, fired rounds in the direction of our victim, got back in the car and then drove north on Bancroft," said Officer Joe Silva with the Stockton Police Department.

The city's latest homicide victim doesn't live where he was shot, but he was known to hang out in the area -- a place subject to drug deals and gang activity.

Officers say their victim is known to them, but they won't yet describe if it's because of a gang incident or some other crime, such as burglary.

"Once we make notification to family, we'll  be able to release more of that information," Silva said.

The victim's identity should also be released at that time.

With witnesses only being able to provide a vague description of the shooter, officers are hoping the shell casings he left behind with identify him.

They will compare those casings to evidence in other known crimes to see if they can find a match.

There were people inside in each unit of the duplex behind where the 26-year-old was shot, but luckily they were not hurt.

The bullets that have triggered this latest spike in Stockton crime were all fired less than 10 miles apart from each other and fly in the face of intense efforts by police to crack down on violent crime with gang sweeps.

Officers were just in this area spreading a message of non-violence during National Night Out.

It's not clear if there's a connection between the deadly shootings that marred Stockton in an almost minute to minute, 24-hour span from 3:30 Tuesday afternoon to 3:21 p.m. Wednesday.

It does seem that the scene of the latest homicide is a magnet for violence.

Stockton 16-year-old James Rivera Junior crashed his minivan into the same Bancroft home after two officers and one deputy fired 48 rounds at him, killing him in 2010.

His parents have spent the last five years looking for answers about what they believe was improper police behavior.

Now that place is yet again at the center of a search for answers.