Authorities are searching for a 22-year-old man who is believed to have fired his gun in Fontana and hit an innocent bystander.
The suspect has been identified as Javier Torres who was among two groups who got into a fight at Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar on Sierra Lakes Parkway on Aug. 13.
The fight spilled out into the parking lot around 1 a.m. when Torres, who authorities say is a known gang member, allegedly pulled out a gun and fired several times before fleeing the scene.
One of the bullets struck the side of a 21-year-old woman who just happened to be driving through. The wound caused her to lose control of her car and crash into a fire hydrant.
People working at nearby businesses told KTLA that the atmosphere in the busy shopping center completely changes when the sun goes down.
“It does get pretty rowdy,” said Cynthia Gomez, who works nearby. “We had an accident that happened before. Someone that came from [the bar], they actually drove into our place of work right before our grand opening. So we had that happen, we’ve had windows broken, just different things that happen there.”
Gina Lopez owns the nearby floral shop RG Creations. She described seeing a huge police presence following the shooting.
“I saw water gushing out and the police and it was all taped off and there were cones everywhere,” Lopez told KTLA.
Lopez asked police if there was anything she needed to be worried about as the owner of a nearby business.
“They’re all, ‘Oh, no. It’s just normal Fontana stuff,'” Lopez recalled the officer saying.
There are two bars in the area and other business owners and neighbor have voiced their own concerns.
“It’s not a good feeling when we leave here being our place of business and my livelihood, and my family’s — It’s a family business,” Lopez said. “For us to not feel protected with what’s going on. We’ve heard several stories, probably every weekend that this sports bar is very rowdy at night when we’re gone.”
Boston’s released a statement to KTLA on Wednesday that reads in part:
“The altercation between two customers led to the injury of an innocent bystander and our hearts go out to her and her loved ones. We take the safety of our guests very seriously at Boston’s and we do not condone violence of any kind inside or outside our restaurant. While there was no physical violence within our restaurant, we have enhanced our security measures, extending the hours of our security guards on duty, for the foreseeable future in an effort to ensure our guests feel safe.”
The statement added that the restaurant believes in doing its part to ensure the area is safe, and while its business has also fallen victim to vandalism, the company takes its responsibility for safety seriously.
The restaurant has been in communication with law enforcement and the property developer to provide security footage and discuss increasing security measures throughout the shopping center, the company said.
“We fully support their efforts to find the suspect, who is still at large, and hope the victim and her family can see justice served,” the statement concluded.
Authorities say the woman injured in the shooting has suffered “life-altering” injuries. She remains in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Investigators have served several search warrants in search of Torres, but he continues to evade capture. He is considered to be armed and dangerous, police said.
Anyone with information about the shooting or Torres’ whereabouts is urged to contact the Fontana Police Department at 909-350-7740.