Three young men were arrested Thursday afternoon after shooting guns in the direction of two schools that share the same campus in southwest Ceres.
Officers were dispatched to Hanline Elementary School, at 4295 Central Ave., at 4:35 p.m. after staff member in the ACES program reported a bullet had been shot into her classroom.
Officers flooded the area and were advised that several men were directly west of the school, which shares campus space with Central Valley High School. A 9mm bullet was found in the classroom.
Officers found three men in an open field in plain sight of the officers. The men were called over and were detained by police. They were identified as Ceres residents Max Perez-Mendez, 27, and Samuel Perez-Mendez, 29, and Escalon resident Juan Garibay-Acevedo, 25. Police seized three guns, shell casings, bullet jackets and live ammunition. The men told police they were just shooting into the dirt in the pasture. After officers canvassed CVHS and Hanline and found multiple bullet cores on school grounds, it appeared that they had been shooting toward the campus where students were practicing sports in close proximity to where the bullets landed.
“There were a few fresh 7.62 shell casings found in the field/pasture that led officers to believe an AK-47 was fired as well,” said Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. Greg Yotsuya.
The three males were uncooperative when police asked for permission to search the vehicles so a search warrant was obtained. A total of six firearms were seized, over 100 shell casings of various calibers, bullet jackets and a short-barreled gold-plated AK-47 rifle.
All three face charges of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, willful discharge of a firearm with negligence, child endangerment and possession of an assault weapon.