The area of the homicide is just south of the Edward B. Cole Sr. Academy.
The SAPD asks that we please stay away from the area while they conduct their investigation.
Four SAPD vehicles responded to the scene as well as a department helicopter.
Two victims, allegedly age 18-25, were injured in the shooting and apparently made their way to a local hospital after getting shot.
The shooters were reportedly two Hispanic males. One of them was sitting on the corner with an “OC” tattoo on his lower right leg and the other was standing on the south side of Joana. The tattooed suspect shot once at two Hispanic males in a black Nissan 4-door coupe, apparently aiming at the driver. The passenger in the black Nissan leaned out and and apparently was able to fire one shot back.
The driver of the Nissan then drove his car from Joana, turned right, heading north, into Larchmont, where the passenger shot at the first shooter.
A neighbor said she heard a total of three shots. She saw two men hop into a gold-colored car that came into the area through Grovemont, from Lincoln.
Neighbors were shocked by the shooting as this type of crime is rare in the Park Santiago area. There are questions now as to whether or not any of the victims or suspects actually live in the area or were just passing through.
The SAPD did not issue a press release about the incident.
Many of the residents of the Park Santiago neighborhood opposed a proposed luxury apartment development at 2525 N. Main last year. The City Council flipped on that project and it was derailed. The dilapidated office building at that site is now a focal point of nefarious activities by drug users and transients who hang out at Santiago Park.
Steven Lopez, 28, of Chino, s Santa Ana police officer, admitted on Wednesday, Feb. 24, to accepting $128,000 in bribes in exchange for shielding an an illegal business from law enforcement.
Steven Lopez, 28, of Chino pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge as part of a plea deal in which he acknowledged using his law enforcement status to both accept and solicit money from an unnamed business operator.
Steven Lopez, 28, of Chino, was charged with bribery in a single-count information filed on Dec. 14, 2020, in United States District Court. In a plea agreement, Lopez agreed to plead guilty to this felony offense.
According to his plea agreement, Lopez served as a police officer with the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) from April 2016 to November 2020. From August 2019 until November 2020, Lopez received approximately $128,000 in bribes from an individual – named in court documents as “Co-Schemer 1” – seeking to influence Lopez in the performance of his official duties as a police officer, the plea agreement states. Lopez admitted that he agreed to prevent or stop law enforcement compliance checks at businesses illegally operating under Co-Schemer 1’s control, law enforcement efforts to shut down those businesses, and law enforcement searches and seizures at those illegally operated businesses.
In August 2020, Lopez accepted $16,000 in bribes from Co-Schemer 1, the plea agreement states. Lopez further admitted that in September 2020 he solicited a bribe payment of at least $5,000 from Co-Schemer 1, who met Lopez – who was on duty and wearing his police uniform – during the late evening of September 14, on the top floor of a parking structure located directly across the street from SAPD headquarters. During this meeting, Lopez accepted Co-Schemer 1’s bribe payment, according to the plea agreement.
On the evening of November 2, Lopez – once again on duty, wearing his police uniform and driving an SAPD-marked vehicle – met Co-Schemer 1 at the corner of First and Fairview streets in Santa Ana, and accepted a $2,500 bribe payment.
Upon entering his guilty plea, Lopez will face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
This matter was investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the California Department of Justice, and the Santa Ana Police Department.
On 12/25/2020, during a verbal argument with his girlfriend, suspect Jose Antonio Villalobos Avalos put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. Avalos also threatened to shoot her.
Wanted Suspect: Jose Antonio Villalobos Avalos (23)
Suspect Description: Male, Hispanic, 5’08”, 180 lbs., brown hair and green eyes
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Avalos is asked to please contact Investigator Ruvalcaba at (714) 245-8348.
On Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 at 11:54 AM, the Santa Ana Police Department received several calls of a female down in the roadway at the intersection of Sullivan Street and Willits Street, near Lincoln Elementary School.
Officers responded to the area and found an elderly female down in the roadway suffering major injuries. Orange County Fire Authority personnel responded and began to treat the female at the scene. The female was transported to an area hospital for further treatment where she was subsequently pronounced deceased by hospital personnel.
The preliminary investigation has revealed the female pedestrian was crossing Willits Street at Sullivan Street when she was struck by the vehicle which was headed south making an eastbound turn. The motorist who was operating the vehicle left the scene. He was later contacted at his residence a few blocks away and is cooperating with the investigation. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the collision.
The Santa Ana Police Department’s Collision Investigations Unit (CIU) is handling the investigation. Anyone possibly having information about this collision is asked to contact Cpl. W. Hadley at (714) 245-8216 or the Santa Ana Police Department’s Traffic Division at (714) 245-8200.
While serving a warrant, in the City of Buena Park, to a convicted felon wanted for selling firearms in the city of Santa Ana, Gang Detectives attempted to detain the suspect outside his residence.
The suspect fled from the police detectives in his vehicle. A loaded AK-47 with an extended magazine and approximately 12 ounces of methamphetamine were recovered from the residence.
Detectives located the suspect in the City of Buena Park driving a vehicle, and a firearm and narcotics were recovered.
While conducting a follow-up investigation for the manufacturing of firearms, SAPD MET police detectives were led to a residence in the City of Fullerton where two loaded firearms were recovered.
In related news, about two hours ago, SAPD MET Detectives conducted a traffic stop & the driver admitted to being in possession of narcotics.
Upon a search of his person, a loaded semi-auto handgun was located. During a search of the vehicle over a pound of narcotics and a significant amount of money was recovered.
The Orange County Superior Court has been actively issuing 30-day impound orders to seize vehicles used in intersection takeovers in Santa Ana.
The SAPD Traffic Division is actively carrying out these orders – and they promise more is to come!
Street racers in Santa Ana cause traffic accidents and even killed a retired O.C. Register writer in a collision a few months ago.
The SAPD is searching for a transient named Daniel Richard Robbins, age 26, who has several outstanding warrants and is currently wanted for questioning in an ongoing criminal investigation.
Robbins is a transient known to frequent Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Seal Beach and Long Beach.
Wanted Suspect: Daniel Richard Robbins (26) Transient
Description: Male, 5’5”, 160 lbs., brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information regarding Robbins’ whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Wilson at (714) 245-8551 or email@example.com.
On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 10:59 PM, Santa Ana Police Officers responded to the Cozy Corner Drive-In located at 426 N. Harbor Boulevard in response to reports of a male down suffering from gunshot wounds.
Officers located an unresponsive male adult near the north entrance doors, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to his upper torso.
Officers performed lifesaving efforts until the arrival of Orange County Fire Authority. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
During the preliminary investigation, it was determined the victim was shot outside an illegal gambling location located at the 300 block of N. Harbor Boulevard.
The circumstances surrounding the male’s death are currently being investigated. Detectives are attempting to identify and locate any witnesses who can shed light on this incident.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call SAPD Homicide Section Detectives at (714) 245-8390, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
This month’s segment of the SAPD “For the Record: A Homicide Spotlight” highlights the murder of Viridiana Rivas.
On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at around 9:30 p.m., SAPD police officers responded to the alley at 2201 West Myrtle Street regarding a shooting involving a grey 4-door sedan.
Officers were notified that vehicle occupied by three males and two females arrived at a local hospital. One of the occupants alerted medical staff that Viridiana Rivas had been shot and was unresponsive. Medical staff performed life-saving measures unfortunately Viridiana could not be revived and she was pronounced deceased.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Homicide Detective Lemmon at (714) 245-8390.
Due to the nature of this case, it qualifies for the Gang Homicide Reward program where individuals could receive up to $50,000 for information regarding Viridiana Rivas’ murder.
The SAPD encourages anyone with information to come forward and help bring closure to Viridiana Rivas’ family and friends.
SAPD MET Detectives conducted a traffic stop in the area of the 300 Block of N. Newhope Street.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as a gang member on active parole and in possession of approximately 300 rounds of ammunition as well as narcotics for sales.
SAPD MET detectives conducted a follow-up investigation, which lead them to the City of Anaheim where they recovered an unloaded firearm.
The suspect was charged with possession of the firearm in addition to the ammunition and sales of narcotic
Angel Macias, a 21-year-old man, pleaded guilty on Thursday and will serve seven years in prison for a violent carjacking in Santa Ana that took place on April 22, 2019.
Macias’ co-defendant, Michelle Diane Sanchez, 26, also pleaded guilty, on Oct. 14, to a felony charge of carjacking. Sanchez was sentenced to three years in prison but felony counts of attempted murder and assault with a firearm were dismissed as part of her plea deal.
During the carjacking a 54-year-old Costa Mesa man was shot twice in the upper body.
The carjacking victim met Sanchez the evening of the shooting and the two reconnected later that night when she texted him saying she needed a ride to her car, according to the SAPD.
When the victim went to pick up Sanchez at Bristol Street and Central Avenue, she told him that the two men with her were friends and also needed a ride.
Sanchez and the two men got into the victim’s Ford F-150 pickup truck, and when they got to the 500 block of East Central Avenue, one of the men demanded at gunpoint that the driver pull over.
Sanchez then shot the victim, who managed to get out of the pickup truck before the suspects fled in the vehicle, Bertagna said.
Detectives found the pickup truck a short distance away from the shooting, Bertagna said.
Macias pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and as part of the plea deal single felony counts each of carjacking and assault with a firearm were dismissed.
SANTA ANA, California – An Orange County man was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for selling narcotics and illegally brokering the sale of firearms – including several “ghost guns.”
Pedro Javier Villalobos, 24, of Santa Ana, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter. Villalobos pleaded guilty in October 2020 to one count of distributing methamphetamine and one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license.
In the summer of 2019, Villalobos, who was not a federally licensed firearms dealer, brokered the sale of firearms to a customer, who was in fact an undercover agent. From August 21, 2019 to September 18, 2019, Villalobos brokered the sale of 15 firearms, including three AR-type rifles and several Glock-type .40-caliber pistols bearing no serial numbers. Villalobos also facilitated the sale of two Mossberg 12-gauge shotguns to the buyer.
Villalobos also sold a total of 367.8 grams of methamphetamine to a buyer on three occasions in August and September of 2019.
Villalobos was the lead defendant in an 11-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed in October 2019 that charged seven defendants with federal firearms offenses.
Prosecutors have secured five guilty pleas in this case so far. Frank Nerida, 50, of Garden Grove, was sentenced on January 25 to two years in federal prison. Jury trials are scheduled for February 23 and July 27, respectively, for the remaining two defendants – Jose Angel Vera, 28, of Santa Ana, and Kevan Ryan Perez, 33, also of Santa Ana.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Costa Mesa Police Department investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Anne C. Gannon of the Santa Ana Branch Office prosecuted this case.
SAPD Detectives Investigating a Homicide in the 1600 Block of W. MacArthur Boulevard – 3 Suspects Have Been Arrested
Suspect #1 – Alfredo Ivan Pulido (22), Santa Ana
Suspect #2 – Leonel Diaz (21), Santa Ana
Suspect #3 – Jason Garcia (21), Santa Ana
On Saturday, February 6, 2021, at 9:12 p.m., Santa Ana Police officers responded to a shooting at the intersection of Bear Street/Macarthur Boulevard. Officers located a vehicle struck by gunfire, occupied by a male and female at 1600 W. MacArthur Boulevard. The male adult driver was unresponsive with apparent gunshot wounds to his upper torso. Officers rendered medical aid until the arrival of Orange County Fire Authority. The male was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The female adult passenger was not injured.
During the preliminary investigation, officers interviewed a witness who reported he was traveling eastbound on MacArthur Boulevard when he observed a green SUV accelerate and drive next to the gray BMW. He then heard three to five gunshots and observed the green vehicle drive southbound on Bear Street from MacArthur Boulevard. The gray BMW then came to a stop at 1600 W. MacArthur Boulevard, facing eastbound. An additional witness reported hearing five gunshots and seeing a green SUV speed away southbound on Bear Street from MacArthur Boulevard.
Responding patrol officers observed a green Chevy Trailblazer traveling northbound on Harbor Boulevard from Warner Ave. They initiated a traffic stop and detained three male adult subjects. Both witnesses positively identified the green Chevy Trailblazer as the same vehicle seen fleeing the scene of the shooting. All three occupants were transported to the Santa Ana Police Department for further investigation. SAPD Homicide Section detectives responded and assumed the investigation.
Homicide detectives interviewed all three individuals. With the concurrence from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, SAPD Homicide detectives booked all three individuals for CPC 187- Murder, CPC 245(a)(2), Assault with Firearm on Person, and additional gang related charges.
The motive for the shooting appears to be gang related. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call SAPD Homicide Section detectives at (714) 245-8390, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
What would you do if you were shot late at night in Santa Ana and could not get to a hospital in time?
The victim had called 911 just before 10 pm. to report that he had been shot.
When SAPD police officers responded to the scene they quickly found out that the victim had left his car and run into the Food 4 Less for help.
OCFA paramedics also arrived on scene and identified that the man had been shot in the chest area several times. He was taken to a local trauma center. His condition is not known at this time.
The SAPD has not revealed the name of the victim nor do we know why he was shot or by who. It is also not clear if the victim is in fact cooperating with the police investigators.
The SAPD police officers had to evacuate several shoppers from the Food 4 Less while they investigated the shooting and the paramedics tended to the victim.