Rohnert Park police investigate stabbing, gunfire along creek trail

Rohnert Park police are investigating a pair of recent crimes near Copeland Creek trail — late-night gunshots fired at a group of teens in the Rancho Cotate High School parking lot and a stabbing.

At the high school, a group of teens hanging out late at night were shot at five times by a figure standing across the lot. No one was hit, but one bullet struck their car, police said.

Officers found one bullet in the car, another by the snack bar and another hit a sign by the school stadium. Five, .45-caliber shell casings were found in the parking lot, said Rohnert Park Sgt. Jeff Nicks.

That occurred at about 11 p.m. on April 17. The school stadium and parking lot are near the Copeland Creek trail, which stretches from about Commerce Boulevard to Sonoma State University.

The stabbing happened Saturday night on the trail after dark.

Rohnert Park police released no information about either the shots fired at the teens or the stabbing until Tuesday evening when they issued a public alert.

Sgt. Jeff Justice said a news release was issued Tuesday after his investigation unit learned about the stabbing along the same trail as the shooting. Weekend officers did not notify the investigations team immediately, he said.

"We wanted to put out the information so people could be aware," he said.

Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District Superintendent Robert Haley said the school's principal was notified by Rohnert Park police the week after the incident, which he said happened on a Thursday night before a Friday when the school was closed.

"Of course we're concerned," he said. "But we're concerned this happened in our community. This had nothing to do with the school."

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