A contract newspaper carrier for The Sacramento Bee was shot at repeatedly early today after she stopped her car to deliver a paper to a mobile home south of Jackson Highway in Sacramento County, sheriff's authorities said.
Sheriff's officials arrested Anthony Collins, 50, and Richard Anderson, 47. Collins, pictured left, who resided in an adjacent mobile home, was booked for investigation of shooting at an occupied vehicle and unlawful possession of firearms by an ex-felon. Anderson, of Galt, was taken into custody for probation violation.
News carrier Mary Burke and a friend who was helping by throwing the papers escaped injury in the 4:30 a.m. shooting in the 6600 block of Bradshaw Road.
Deputy Jason Ramos, department spokesman, said the car driven by Burke was hit by gunfire nine times after the paper was delivered to a customer. The shots apparently came from the adjacent mobile home about 30 yards from the delivery site.
Behind the home was a marijuana growing operation, Ramos said.
Authorities in the predawn hours blocked off Bradshaw between Florin and Elder Creek roads, surrounded the home that was the source of the gunfire and called on the occupants to come out.
The two men, Collins and Anderson, stepped outside along with one woman and two children, who were unharmed, ages 3 and 11, he said.
Another woman was found inside during a sweep of the mobile home, along with more than a half dozen firearms, including at least one gun and several rifles.
Burke, 50, said she has been delivering newspapers to front doorsteps for nearly 20 years and had picked up more than 250 newspapers by about 4:30 a.m. today to start her 68-mile distribution route.
She said she took on the route that included Bradshaw Road nearly three years ago. Because of its rural nature, it requires more driving but less stepping in and out of the car, she said. This morning, she said, she chose to start delivering to the Bradshaw Road customers because three of them typically get up very early.
The elderly newspaper customer had asked in June that her paper be delivered to her mobile home's door.
"She said, 'I don't want to walk all the way to Bradshaw,'" Burke recalled. "And so I said, 'If it's not a problem, we'll drive up (to deliver the paper to the home) and circle around out (away from the property).'"
"We threw the paper and began to go out when we heard this pop-pop-pop and ping-ping-ping hitting the car," Burke said. "Before we could get to Bradshaw, we heard more ping-ping-ping into the back end of the car."
Burke said she drove the car away from the property and then stopped to look at her car, which had deep bullet holes.
Her delivery helper would have been hit by one of the shots that entered the passenger door, she said, but the window was rolled down and the glass apparently deflected the bullet to the bottom of the inside door jamb.
"I was lucky," Burke added. "The bullets didn't hit the gas tank."