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Shooter Who Left Friend Paralyzed Sentenced To 19 Years In Prison

A man who paralyzed another man in a sniper attack in Burney has been sentenced. In the middle of the night December 23rd of 2018, bullets began bursting into the windows of a second story apartment on Lassen Street in Burney. Several of the people inside dove for cover and were injured, but the resident, Fernando Chavez, ran out the front door to investigate. As soon as he spotted the gunman he was shot twice. The bullets lodged in his spine, rendering him permanently paraplegic. After deputies arrived to investigate, someone approached and said a man with a rifle was sitting in a car near the Burney Theater. As deputies responded there, the car was seen leaving so a high-risk traffic stop was done and 41-year-old Leslie Paul Patterson of McArthur was taken into custody. He had a loaded 22 caliber rifle and admitted that he had shot about half of the 50 round magazine into the apartment. He said he had heard from an unknown person that the people in the apartment were going to harm young girls somehow, including his daughter. It was learned at the sentencing hearing that Patterson had actually been a lifelong friend of Chavez. The victim’s mother said he still considers his attacker to be a friend. Patterson and his family all apologized to Chavez and his family for the pain inflicted on them. The Chavez family agreed to the judge imposing a prison sentence of 19 years.