Shooter targets Smoke Shack, no one injured

Store owner Mike Bittar shows where the bullet shattered his front glass and punctured back of a soft drink cooler inside the Smoke Shack #2.

Store owner Mike Bittar shows where the bullet shattered his front glass and punctured the back of a soft drink cooler inside the Smoke Shack #2.

LANCASTER – The Lancaster smoke shop, where a 23-year-old woman was shot and killed last month, was the site of an apparent drive-by shooting late Thursday night.

The incident was reported around 11:20 p.m. Thursday, and it occurred at Smoke Shack #2, located at 137 East Avenue J in Lancaster, according to Lancaster Station Watch Sgt. Theresa Dawson.

The bullet came from a 9 mm handgun, Bittar said.

The bullet came from a 9 mm handgun, Bittar said.

Dawson had little details on the shooting because the report had not been written as of Friday morning. However, she said the incident appears to have been a drive-by, with the shooter escaping in a dark colored vehicle. No injuries were reported, she said.

Smoke Shack #2 owner Mike Bittar said he was inside his store with a friend at the time of the shooting.

“I was sitting behind my desk, and my friend was sitting on the other side,” Bittar said. “I’m playing music, and out of nowhere I hear a loud boom.”

Bittar said he first thought the noise was something falling to the ground, but then he went outside and saw that his front window had been shattered. A single bullet tore through a soft drink cooler inside the store, Bittar said.

“The bullet went through the cooler and it struck one of the Diet Pepsi cans,” Bittar said. “I found the bullet and gave it to the sheriff’s department.”

He said deputies told him the bullet came from a 9 mm handgun. A woman outside the store at the time of the shooting said she saw someone speed away in a black or dark blue vehicle, Bittar said.

He said he had no idea why anyone would want to shoot at the store. Asked if he now feared for his life, Bittar said, “I’m Arab, nothing scares me in this world.”

He said he was more upset that it would cost him $500 to $600 to replace the shattered window.

This is the second shooting at the Smoke Shack #2 in less than a month.

Smoke Shack #2 is located in a strip mall on East Avenue J and Division Street in Lancaster.

This is the second shooting at the Smoke Shack #2 in less than a month. On Sunday, Jan. 27, 23-year-old Reyna Araceli Gutierrez was shot to death inside the store.

Gutierrez had been in a back room cleaning, around 4 p.m., when 20-year-old Samy Ali Mahmoud came into the room and began handling the store owner’s shotgun, sheriff’s officials said. Mahmoud told deputies the shotgun went off by accident and shot Gutierrez in the chest, but authorities did not buy his story.

Three days after the shooting, Mahmoud was charged with murder. He has not yet entered a plea in the case, and remains jailed on $2 million bail. Read more here.

Anyone with information on Thursday’s drive-by shooting at the Smoke Shack #2 is urged to contact the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station at 661-948-8466. If you would like to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

  16 comments for “Shooter targets Smoke Shack, no one injured

  1. kim
    February 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    This smoke shop needs to be closed down or the only person that needs to work there is the owner since his not scared of dying… RIP Reyna may this guy who did this pay and suffer in prison.

  2. Lynn
    February 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Really? What the hell has happened to the AV, and in particular, Lancaster? Rex? Got any answers? I’ve got a damned good suggestion for all the cities and towns of the AV: STOP building low income housing and sllowing Section 8 to destroy our valley!!!

  3. dumbandblind
    February 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    What do you expect if you are selling drug paraphernalia anyway?

    • Megan
      February 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      So, you think it’s okay that someone did a drive-by because they sell pipes or other items you don’t approve of?
      That store is a licensed business in Lancaster. It deserves the same protection that other business gets.

  4. SJGranai
    February 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    FYI….Reyna’s services are on the 25th. Poor girl hasn’t had her funeral yet and people still keep talking madness.

    • sanadia
      February 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Why hasn’t the dearly departed young lady, Reyna, been given her last rites? I’ve not seen anymore news regarding the need for donations. I thought that was being done (donations) at the Smoke Shack. Someone should look in to this as it’s almost 1 month since she was murdered.
      I like getting Gonzalez taco, etc., but now this is going to frighten me and others away. A guard should be assigned to keep the public safe and businesses open.

      • SJGranai
        February 25, 2013 at 2:52 am

        I am not privy to the goings on of the family. However, I am going to assume, based on other cases, that one month isn’t very long when it comes to an investigation. Forensics and whatnot are necessary to paint a complete picture. Both prosecution and defense have to have time to examine the evidence aka the body (Reyna was a living breathing and very loved excuse the cold term).

        It is my understanding, I may be wrong, that she is going to be or has been cremated.

        The services will be at Palmdale Victory Outreach.

  5. February 23, 2013 at 7:04 am

    probly cuz he stole the collection(twice) for the young girl who got murdered at this POS buisness it is called carma dum ass

    • piper
      February 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      If you wanna talk about bull[removed] stealing go to the shop they will happily show you the video feed of the hector collecting the jars i know the truth and these lies about mike and his shop need to stop he is a very good person and has never done anyone wrong Ive known him for many years and he always treats everyone as if they are family he loved Reyna as his own wat happened at the store was a tragedy but it needs to be known he had no way to control the events that unfolded if you wanna be angry be that way with the murderer not the owner

      • Anonymous
        February 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm

        Mike should take some responsibility. He had the gun there, and the murderer as you call him, he is sitting in jail with his whole life turned upside down!!! If he is such a murderer then why didn’t he run instead of admitting to the police that he accidentally shot her.
        Also to the person who wrote this article, I thought press was suppose to unbiased, I love the fact that you state “but authorities did not buy his story.” considering as of February 14, the sheriff had not even written the final report. Of course he was arrested and charged with murder, he shot her!!! But get your facts correct, the investigation isn’t even completed yet!!!

        • Kel
          February 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm

          Are you really trying to make excuses for the cold blooded killer that shot the beautiful young girl? How can you say the investigation is not complete and the report is not written if the man is already charged with MURDER?!? Who do you think told the DA to charge him with MURDER? The police, that’s who!
          If the police believed his story he would be charged with MANSLAUGHTER not MURDER!! Stop protecting a killer. Shame on you!

          • Anonymous
            February 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

            I know that facts that I am talking about, the DA charged him and has 1 year to prove the case. Know your facts!!!

          • Kel
            February 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm

            What facts?! The DA charged your friend Samy because the cops believe he is a MURDERER!!!! The DA doesn’t just charge people based on a hope and a prayer. The evidence comes from the detectives. And if the detectives believed your friend Samy shot the girl by accident, it would be a manslaughter charge. Shame on you for picking up for the killer when the poor girl is not even in her grave yet. What if that was your daughter? SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

      • XXXX
        February 25, 2013 at 4:44 am

        he picked up the collection but you forgot to tell every one that there was only like 3 dollars in it im sure the people donated over 300 so keep praising this good man when God knowes the truth

  6. ryneshia jackson
    February 23, 2013 at 12:07 am

    another day in lancompton but remember the MAYOR parris is doing such a great job of fixing the dump of a city lolololololololol

    • wow
      February 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Your comments are ridiculous! Instead of tearing stuff down, why don’t you try and build it up.

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