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UPDATE: KIck Boxer and Father Pauly Silva, 32, Slain Downtown Saturday

There were many witnesses to the early morning shooting that appeared to be gang related. Police have three men in custody, but none charged with the murder.

Friends and students said that Pauly Silva, 32, was the man slain Saturday morning at 12:30 outside the Red Room, a bar in downtown Santa Cruz.

The drive-by shooting was apparently gang related, although they said that Silva was not involved in gangs. He had a twin brother who is, they said. 

Patch has spoken with a number of people close to Silva, but is keeping their names out of this report to protect them because the crime is apparently gang-related.

"It's a terrible loss for the community and he also has a baby and that's the part that makes this so much worse," said a woman who trained with him. "Maybe this will get more attention to gang violence."

Silva taught at Kaijin Mixed Martial Arts on the Westside.

Police hadn't released information on the victim's identity, although it was spread through Facebook and Instagram. 

Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said the man was shot at about 12:30 a.m. just outside the Locust Street entrance to the popular restaurant and bar, largely frequented by students.

Witnesses reported a green or grey Mercedes associated with the shooting. A car matching the description was stopped by Watsonville Police near Green Valley Road. Two of the occupants were brought back to Santa Cruz for questioning. 

Police called out a multi-agency alert called a R.O.P.E., which seeks to find suspects throughout the area as soon after a crime has occurred as possible. They seek to monitor all escape routes out of the county.

Police at 4 a.m. pounded on the door of a home off Water Street, according to witnesses, where residents had two older Mercedes cars.

One man in Santa Cruz has been arrested on outstanding warrants and the two men stopped in Watsonville are being held on other charges. They are members of a Norteno gang, according to Clark. 

Detectives are working to put together the facts about the murder and worked through the night following leads.

Anyone with information is asked to call Police Investigations at (831) 520-5815.

This was the first murder of the year in the city. There were three last year. There were 10 homicides in the county in 2012.

Leslie M. Crook February 10, 2013 at 12:33 AM
This makes me sick to my stomach. What an awful instance of mistaken identity. I'm so sorry for all who knew and loved him.
Michael A. Lewis February 10, 2013 at 03:00 AM
This is intolerable! How can we live in a place where people are gunned down on the streets? How has our community fallen so low? This isn't gangland Chicago. When do we do something to put a stop to this criminal culture that has invaded our communities?
Leslie M. Crook February 10, 2013 at 05:24 AM
+1, Michael.
Rawbeez February 10, 2013 at 04:20 PM
This is not the town we grew up in anymore. It's such a great loss to our community Pauly was a good man and a leader to many in our community. He will be greatly missed. This violence has to stop and I really hope a war doesn't start due to this horrible incident. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of Paulys fam and friends. God bless!
Don Gateley February 12, 2013 at 12:40 AM
I don't even want to live here any more. Leaving as soon as I can get it together. What has taken over this town is ugly at both ends of the economic spectrum and after 20 years I no longer feel comfortable here. My home vanished around me as I looked on with absolutely no idea how to stop it. The only thing that remains special about Santa Cruz is its demonstration of the speed with which unpleasant and dangerous incoming elements can ruin a place.

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