2 Arrested, Charged with Murder After Woman Killed in Gang Shooting

Catherine Kennedy was killed last week when a stray bullet struck her as she was driving in Escondido

Two people have been arrested in connection with the homicide of 55-year-old Catherine Kennedy, killed in a gang shooting last week, Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter announced Thursday. 

Kennedy, an active member of the community, was on her way home from a confirmation class last Tuesday when she was shot and killed.

A stray bullet from a gang shootout struck her in the head as she was driving on Grand Avenue in Escondido. She lost control of her car and crashed into another vehicle.

She later died at the hospital.

A 24-year-old man and 16-year-old male have been arrested in connection with the death, Carter said during a press conference. One suspect was arrested in Escondido and the other was arrested out of the County. 

The 24-year-old will be charged with murder at an arraignment Friday afternoon, police said. The juvenile will face similar charges in the future as well. 

Carter said the 24 and 16-year-old suspects belong to the same gang. They were together the night of March 7.

Police said the suspect saw someone from a rival gang writing graffitti on their "turf" and the 24-year-old opened fire.

There are still outstanding suspects in the homicide investigation, Carter said, though he would not elaborate on when police are expecting to make additional arrests.

Dozens of tips from the local community poured in after news of Kennedy's death came out, some of which helped crack the case, Carter said. 

“Every investigative tool that you can imagine" led to the arrest of the two men, Carter said: photos from the area, tips to the police, surveillance and more.

In response to the arrest, Kennedy's husband released the following statement: 

“We would like to commend the Escondido Police Department on these arrests and ask that you respect our privacy as we continue through the grieving process in light of this new information,” said Kevin Kennedy.

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