On Friday, July 24, 2020, at 5:49 AM, SAPD Officers responded to reports of a man down on a dirt path adjacent to the Santa Ana Riverbed north of 5th Street. Upon arrival, officers located an unidentified adult male on the ground, unresponsive, and bleeding from an unseen injury. The man showed no signs of life. Orange County Fire Authority paramedics arrived and declared the man deceased at 6:04 AM.
The Orange County Coroner identified the decedent as Pedro Morale Chocoj (31) of Santa Ana and determined he died of a gunshot wound.
SAPD Homicide Section detectives responded and assumed the investigation. They determined multiple suspects robbed and killed Mr. Chocoj for his bicycle. The crime occurred on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at approximately 7:45 PM, on the dirt path adjacent to the bike trail on the riverbed.
On Monday, July 27, 2020, working off a tip, SAPD detectives located the victim’s bicycle on the 900 Block of Fair Way in the City of Santa Ana. That tip also led to the detention of a suspect who detectives later arrested as an accessory to the robbery and murder of Mr. Chocoj. On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, detectives apprehended three other suspects in this case. With concurrence from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, detectives arrested the three men for the robbery and murder of Mr. Chocoj.
The investigation continues, as there is a fifth outstanding suspect. Detectives request any witnesses or anyone with information about this case contact the Santa Ana Police Department Homicide Section at (714) 245-8390 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS