Sacto 9-1-1
April 13, 2012
Citrus Heights street with violent past is scene of drive-by gunfire

A Citrus Heights street with a crime-ridden past was the scene of a drive-by shooting last night.

Police said that at about 9:15 p.m. Thursday, officers were called to Sayonara Drive after gunshots rang out. Nobody was struck by the gunfire, but three vehicles and an occupied home were hit.

Several bullet casings were recovered by police.

Witnesses reported seeing a dark-colored vehicle and a blue or white sport utility vehicle on Sayonara Drive at the time of the shooting.

For about 20 years, Sayonara Drive was arguably the city's most crime-ridden street. In 2006, the year Citrus Heights formed its own police department, a three-block section, west of Sunrise Boulevard and north of Greenback Lane, accounted for 32 percent of the calls for service police received citywide.

The street had a reputation as a haven for gang members and drug dealers, and was the scene of frequent fights and assaults.

But in April 2010, the city launched a redevelopment project, tearing down 64 apartment units that it purchased after the complexes went into foreclosure.

The result was relative peace and safety, said those who lived and worked in the neighborhood at the time.

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