Community shaken after Saturday shooting


Wyatt Alpert

Police and bystander near a car with the window shot out after the shooting on Columbus Avenue. Photographed by Wyatt Alpert May 6

Chico State students and their families are disheartened and fearful as they come to terms with the news of the house-party shooting that killed one and wounded five early Saturday morning.

Just half an hour before, Chico police said they arrested a man who caused a disturbance and brandished a firearm at the same address as the shooting. 

The victims’ ages range from 17 to 21 in the fatal attack that may have stemmed from an earlier argument over being allowed into a party

A former Las Plumas High School student, 17-year-old Justina Stubbe, has been identified as the deceased victim.

“Right away my heart ached for the families of those injured and so tragically lost far too soon,” Katie Cortez said, the mother of a Chico State student who has lost family members to gun violence. 

Cortez, while sympathizing, is looking for action.

“I hope that both the city and the school learn from this tragedy, and in honor of the lost and injured, reflect and enact change,” she said. 

The Department of Justice qualifies a mass shooting as one in which four or more individuals have been shot with a firearm. The shooting, in one of the epicenters of student living, is one of nearly 200 in 2023

In an email to students and staff, Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson confirmed that none of the victims are Chico State students. The campus community grieves all the same.

“Such an innocent life gone without another thought from the person behind the gun is absolutely devastating for her family and the rest of the community,” senior Natalia Good said. “Sorry, it just makes me so sad.”

Columbus Avenue is directly behind Safeway and is within a mile of many highly populated, and mostly student-oriented, apartments such as University Village, The Post on Nord and Wildcat Crossing

The shooting has left students living nearby looking over their shoulders.

“I didn’t go to the grocery store that day … I was afraid the guy was still walking around or something,” sophomore Katherine Zapletina said.

The unknown suspect is still at large as of Tuesday May 9. 

In an email sent to all students, faculty and staff following the attack, Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson said, “Students can contact the WellCat Counseling Center by calling 530-898-6345 or emailing [email protected].”

“If you are in crisis and need to speak to a counselor immediately, please call 530-898-6345 and follow the phone prompts (press 2) and you will be connected to a crisis counselor. Faculty and staff can access help through the Employee Assistance Program.”

The Orion will continue covering the shooting as more information becomes available. 

Timothy Adams can be reached at [email protected].