Police Hold News Conference Following Several Arrests In Rash Of Drive-Bys

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PUEBLO, Colo. Gang-related shootings have rattled neighborhoods all across the city of Pueblo over a two and a half week period.

The police department addressed the status of the investigation on the heels of eight arrests made over the weekend. They held a news conference Wednesday morning

There have been seven shootings in Pueblo between March 31 and April 17: 1300 Park Avenue, 1300 E. 18th St., 2800 E. 16th St., 600 E. 3rd St., 300 E. Northern Ave., 1200 E. Abriendo Ave., and 2900 4th Ave. There was also a fire started by gang members on the 1100 block of Fearnow Ave. during that time frame.

Police say that while all seven of the shootings are gang-related, only six are connected. The last shooting, on 2900 4th Ave., is not related to the other shootings. Police said in a news conference April 18 that the drive-bys appear to be gang-on-gang violence; that all of the houses are targeted.

Wednesday, the police department released photos of the six men and two women they have in custody. Police said three of those people, Michael Gonzales, Emillio Hall and Maximillian Esquibel, were directly linked to the shootings. The other arrests were made during the police department gang operation. Those arrests were for a variety of charges and outstanding warrants not related to the drive bys.

Police also released a timeline that shows how the gang violence was in retaliation. They believe it's a retaliation between two gangs.

The police department had previously been holding off on any identification on concerns that identifying the arrested would tip off others wanted by police.

The Pueblo police chief said there is still one "major player" in the gang activity who has not been located. His name is Ramon Gomez. Police say they found a handgun that they believe belongs to Gomez. During Police's investigation they collected several guns as evidence. Those guns are being tested to see if they were the ones used in the drive-by shootings.

11 News also learned that Gomez is on parole for drugs, assault and theft.

The investigation is still ongoing. If you have any information about any of the shootings, call the Pueblo Police Department. If you don't want to give your name, you can call Pueblo Crime Stoppers at 719-542-STOP.

Michael Gonzales