RICHMOND -- A suspected gang member who police believe was trolling a Richmond neighborhood with a retaliation shooting on his mind was arrested with the help of police dogs, authorities said.
Officers from a gang patrol unit were near the area of Fifth Street and Nevin Avenue around 8 p.m. Tuesday when they recognized two males in a car as suspected gang members, Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said. The officers tried to pull over the car, which they discovered to be stolen out of Oakland, but the two tried to escape, Abetkov said.
They reached North Opal Street and ditched the car, Abetkov said. But police dogs picked up the pair's scent and police caught one suspect less than a mile away in the 100 block of Spears Circle.
The male, whose age and identity was not released, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to commit a shooting and evading police, Abetkov said. Police found two guns during the pursuit. One was inside the abandoned car and the other was tracked down by police dogs on a pathway.
The second person in the vehicle got away, Abetkov said.
Richmond police gang units have been on high alert after two homicides in North Richmond over the past two weeks. Nelson Earl Hamilton III, 23, was fatally shot and three others wounded in front of a home in the 1600 block of First Street around 10 p.m. March 8. Derrick Cooper, 38, was shot multiple times in the 1600 block of Fourth Street about 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 27.
There were only two homicides in North Richmond -- part of unincorporated Contra Costa County -- in all of 2013. The city of Richmond has not seen a homicide since October, when 33-year-old Samuel Morales was shot while driving his vehicle at Harbour Way and Ohio Avenue. No arrests have been made in that shooting.
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.