Santa Ana Gang Violence Claims Another Life
Kimberly Edds and Denisse Salazar (The Orange County Register)
June 23, 2010
SANTA ANA – A teenager was shot to death by two teenagers on bicycles and a 16-year-old was shot up to five times in separate gang attacks Tuesday as a surge of gang-related violence continues in this city, with seven shootings since Friday.
An 18-year-old man survived being shot in the face over the weekend. No one was hit during the other shootings, police said.
After a weekend of violence, gunfire erupted again Tuesday afternoon, leaving a 17-year-old boy dead and a 16-year-old boy fighting for his life as he was shot as many as five times, according Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.
No arrests have been made. The 17-year-old who was killed does not appear to have been a gang member, Bertagna said.
Authorities are searching for two teenage boys on bicycles they believe gunned down a man near South Sullivan Street and Willits Street just after 5:30 p.m. The boy was declared dead at the scene. What provoked the attack remains unclear.
Less than three hours before, a teenager standing by a catering truck in the 1700 block of South Evergreen was shot numerous times by a gunman.
The boy, who is believed to have been hit in the eye, back, hip, side and midsection, was driven by a bystander to Coastal Communities Hospital, Bertagna said. He was taken by paramedics to Western Medical Center, where he underwent surgery, he said.
The wounded teenager told officers he was not a gang member, Bertagna said. It is unclear whether the boy will survive.
Officers were searching for the gunman described as wearing a blue shirt and a blue New York Yankees hat, Bertagna said.
The shootings come as an announcement by city officials that overtime for Santa Ana police will be eliminated, a tough decision made in the hopes of avoiding layoffs. The elimination of overtime pay will go into effect July 1, further handcuffing officers trying to crack down on a recent spike in gang-related violence.
Tuesday’s homicide marks the fourth gang-related homicide in Santa Ana this year, but shootings and stabbings have surged in the past few months.
An 18-year-old man, whose father and brother were killed by gang violence, was shot in the jaw Saturday night in the 1000 block of West Glenwood Place, Bertagna said. He was taken by a friend to Coastal Communities Hospital where he was being treated for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, Bertagna said.
Witnesses told police they heard about 10 shots.
The man told police he knows the gang and he is not talking.
The night before a man and a teenage boy were shot at as they drove east in the 2100 block of West Ninth Street around 11 p.m.
A man standing in the middle of the street pointed a handgun at their passing vehicle and fired three shots, Bertagna said.
The bullets shattered the back window of the vehicle but missed the two people inside, Bertagna said.
Around 4 p.m. Saturday, witnesses called police to report that two men were hiding behind cars and shooting at each other in the 1600 block of South Cedar Street near Edinger Avenue, Bertagna said.
Officers found a bullet hole in a car, but the shooters were gone, he said.
Several shots were fired early Sunday morning in the 1800 block of South Evergreen Street, about a block away from Cedar Street, Bertagna said.
Three men were apparently hanging out near a carport when a man walked up to them, yelled a gang name and fired several rounds, Bertagna said. No one was hit.
The shooter ran. He was described as Latino, in his 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and having a thin build. He was wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans, Bertagna said.
Around 10 a.m. Monday, a 14-year-old boy was walking home from Century High School in the 1200 block of South Maple Street when a van pulled up next to him, said Bertagna.
The passenger asked the boy his gang affiliation and then got out of the van and punched him, Bertagna said. While the boy was on the ground, the man began searching his pockets, he said.
The boy fought back and ran, Bertagna said.
The man pulled out a gun and fired two shots at the boy as he ran home, Bertagna said. The bullets missed.
His attackers were described as men in their early to mid 20s and were riding in a white older-model minivan, Bertagna said.
Anyone with information leading to the arrest of the shooters may be eligible for up to a $50,000 reward as part of the Gang Homicide and Felony Assault Reward Program. The program was launched after a 2006 jump in gang violence.