On January 20, 2019, at 2:14 PM, SAPD officers responded to reports of a shooting at 300 South Birch Street. Officers located the scene of the shooting but the victims and suspect were no longer at the location. Witnesses described a suspect firing a handgun at a vehicle. Two men later flagged down officers in the area of Oak Street and 1st Street, directing them to an adult male shooting victim. Officers and Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) responded to the scene and began life-saving measures. OCFA transported the victim to a local trauma center where he was pronounced deceased.
After an extensive investigation, SAPD Homicide Detectives discovered the motive for the shooting was gang-related and identified Efrain Contreras (22) of Santa Ana as the suspect. He was a juvenile at the time of the shooting. The case was presented to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and a murder charge was filed against Contreras who fled the country to avoid capture and prosecution.
On November 7, 2023, Contreras was located in Mexico and transferred to U.S. authorities at the U.S./Mexico border. Representatives from the U.S. Marshals Office transported Contreras to Santa Ana. SAPD Homicide Detectives booked him into Orange County Juvenile Hall for PC 187(a) – Murder.
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.