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Drive-by shooting suspects in court

By: Nathan Donato-Weinstein The Press-Tribune
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AUBURN – Two Granite Bay teens being held in connection with last week’s drive-by shooting outside a Roseville McDonald’s made a brief appearance Monday in an Auburn courtroom. Justin Mathew Wittkop, 18, and a 17-year-old girl were scheduled to be arraigned on felony charges of attempted murder and assault with a firearm on a person, but Superior Court Judge Robert McElhany agreed to delay the suspects’ arrai-gnment to allow them time to retain private counsel. The Press-Tribune is not releasing the girl’s name because it was not clear whether prosecutors intend to charge her as an adult. Clothed in a jail-issued orange jumpsuit, Wittkop sat shackled and hunched over until Judge McElhany asked him if he has retained private counsel. Wittkop looked up and told the judge his family is retaining counsel and asked for the arraignment to be delayed until Friday. Seated separately from other inmates, the female suspect sobbed audibly as her prospective attorney also asked for a postponement. Her family members declined to comment outside the courtroom Monday. The pair was arrested shortly after midnight Thursday in connection with a shooting Wednesday outside the McDonald’s on the 6800 block of Sierra College Boulevard. Officials say the incident started at about 3:45 p.m., when a group of teenagers, one on foot and the other in a vehicle, got into some kind of altercation outside the restaurant. The dispute continued inside the store, until a manager broke up the fight, police said. Minutes later, police say the group of teens that included the eventual victim were on foot on Sierra College Boulevard when a silver sedan cruised by. Multiple shots were fired, striking the 16-year-old victim in the back and upper thigh. The injured boy, a Granite Bay High School student, was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center and was expected to fully recover. His name has not been released. Wittkop is believed to have been driving the car. Police said Monday they were still investigating who the shooter was. If convicted, the two suspects could face a sentence enhancement because officials allege the crimes involved a specific intent to use force.