New details have emerged from the investigation into the death of 30-year-old Pedro De La Torre, the Chico man killed by a Union Pacific Train last weekend. Early Sunday morning, The Chico Police Department received a call from Union Pacific claiming one of their trains hit a pedestrian at the W. Sacramento intersection. When Police and medical units responded, a body was located 140 feet south of W. Sacramento Avenue. Associates of the deceased arrived at the scene before emergency personnel, and later identified the body at 30-year-old Pedro De La Torre, a resident of Chico.
Chico Police detectives spoke with several people who reported hearing the train whistle blowing as well as multiple gunshots simultaneously. Those shots are thought to have originated in the area of W. Sacramento Avenue and N. Cedar Street. Police officer patrolling the area at the time also confirmed hearing gunshots.
The train operators also reported seeing a male running westbound in an apparent attempt to beat the train and get across the tracks. The operators immediately tried to slow and stop the train, but the individual was struck.
During the recovery of the De La Torre’s body, a revolver was located in the pants of his pockets. The weapon was later proven to have expended cartridge cases in it, indicating it had been fired multiple times. The deceased was also wearing a single latex glove on what is believed to be his shooting hand. Detectives searched the area and located an apparent bullet strike to a vehicle parked on Rancheria, just east of North Cedar Street. It is strongly suspected that Mr. De La Torre had just completed shooting his handgun and was fleeing from the scene, trying to get to the west side of the railroad tracks, when he was struck by the train. Detectives are investigating the shooting incident that occurred within seconds of De La Torre being struck by the train. No witnesses have reported seeing anyone else in the area of W. Sacramento and North Cedar at that time.
Detectives are also further investigating what may be a related event just before 2 a.m. Sunday morning at West Second and Broadway Streets. Officers responded to a report of a fight at that time, and upon arrival they reported seeing several suspected gang members flee the area. Officers recognized Pedro De La Torre and other individuals as they fled the area. This incident is also being looked at as possibly linked to the later shooting incident. These incidents are still under investigation. Witnesses to any of these incidents are encouraged to call the Chico Police Department.