Shooter struck wrong house, gets 3 years
A White City man was sentenced to prison Tuesday for a gang-related shooting in which he fired at the wrong house, narrowly missing a sleeping person.
Aaron Junior Cecena, 23, of the 800 block of Atlantic Avenue, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to unlawful use of a firearm and five counts of recklessly endangering another person.
On May 23, Cecena drove by a gang-affiliated house near the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Avenue H in White City. Police believe shots were fired from the house. Cecena drove back and fired through a passenger window, striking the wrong house, which had people inside, according to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.
"They were innocent bystanders. One of the bullets went into the mattress one of the people was sleeping on," Chief Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Markiewicz said.
Five people were endangered by the flying bullets, according to an indictment.
Court-appointed defense attorney Christine Kantas Herbert said Cecena feels horrible about what happened.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Kelly Ravassipour said the situation could have been even worse.
"You were about three inches from murder and life in prison," she told Cecena. "I'm going to give you the maximum allowed by law."
Cecena, his shaved scalp, neck and much of his face covered in tattoos, declined to make a statement in court.
Meanwhile, drive-by shootings continue to strike the Rogue Valley.
Police are investigating three drive-by shootings that have occurred in west Medford in the past two weeks.
During the most recent drive-by shooting on Narregan Street Sunday night, one witness was shot at outside, while another bullet crashed through the window of a house and bounced around the interior, missing a husband, wife and three children.
Several witnesses reported seeing a four-door Toyota Camry driving slowly in the neighborhood with four people inside.
On the Medford Police Department Facebook page, police said local gangs are fairly disorganized, with a rather small group responsible for much of the mayhem. Police have seen spikes in gang activity before, much like what they are seeing with the recent shootings.
"Like in times past, a few arrests is all it takes to disrupt these guys and put a huge dent in gang activity," the post continued. "That is our goal here. We are going to work day and night until everyone involved in the recent shootings are wearing our custom bracelets."
Police urge people to report anything unusual, gang-related or not.
Anyone with information about the Narregan Street shooting is asked to call the Medford Police Department Detective Division at 541-774-2230.