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O.C. gang member charged with killing a man who was pouring a cup of coffee

Israel Lopez booking photo A reputed gang member was charged Monday with gunning down a man while he was pouring a cup of coffee at a Santa Ana restaurant, authorities said.

Israel Pena Lopez, 35, a Santa Ana resident, is accused of shooting his victim several times in the back Oct. 13 at the Panaderia la Chapina restaurant, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

The victim, Alejandro Sanchez, 22, was pouring coffee at the counter when he was struck by the bullets, according to prosecutors.

One day after the killing, Lopez allegedly shouted the name of his street gang as he fired a weapon at another person on a Santa Ana Street corner, prosecutors said. The bullets missed the victim, who has not been identified.

Lopez has a previous felony conviction for participation in a criminal street gang, the district attorney's office said. He is facing charges that include murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a felon and street terrorism, with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity and the personal discharge of a firearm.

Lopez is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at the courthouse in Santa Ana.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: Israel Pena Lopez. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office

Comments () | Archives (19)

In the back!! ooooooo, what a tuff guy...The death penalty was made for cretins such as this.

Why is this person ON the streets ? Previous conviction ? Doesn't that mean 'jail' time somewhere ? How much do ANY of you want to bet that he will GET jail time AND be 'put up' by you and me ( means the STATE and our taxes PAY for his upkeep while in jail) HIS gang MUST be targeted and taken OUT. These animals THINK that THEY run whatever area they live in. THEY DONT. He merits the DEATH penalty ( o yea right our NEW DA does NOT condone the death penalty) Until some gang member targets her OWN family will she WANT the death penalty for some of these vicious animals.

Kill this criminal. He doesn't deserve to live.

Reason #673 why gangsters should be exterminated. All they do is commit crime(s) and hurt, maim, kill etc ...
I'm still wondering why the guys that were arrested for killing that 5 year old over Halloween are allowed to breathe the same air as me.

Ah well, a person can dream at least ---

So what's the difference between a street gangster yelling the name of his affiliation and an al Qaeda member yelling out while shooting at Americans? Both have a terrorist mindset. It's all about location, location, location. Otherwise, no difference. Sad. Sounds like the initiation thing again. Or how about just being plain nutty. Maybe 40 years behind bars will mellow the rage.
You see, California still has no effective deterrent, like a death penalty and
execution system that does what it does well. I heard the French Guillotine was up against the same type of opposition. My, how history repeats itself throughout the ages. Oh well. Another life senselessly lost. When will we have the will and backbone to do what has to be done? Really, just when?

Garbage like this should never have been let in. He should be deported to Antarctica.

Forget the hearing we should use these violent offenders to search out mines where are troops are active. The system is not working and for us to pay for another stay in prison while we not only feed and house the prisoner but also their numerous family members that go on public welfare.

Sanctuary City Predictable Human Debris Run a Muck.
So we don't have to endure this nonsense, this once beautiful City turned into a Latin American third world. Mexicans are not respectful of our laws and civic duties that govern a workable democracy. They only take advantage of taxpayer generosity because in the end the anchor child never does the hard work the parent did and become a ward of the state, visit a welfare office if you believe these folk just come here to work. Americans are wavering to a lesser standard. Now CA is overwhelmed by the poverty culture from south of the border and hit-and-run-drivers. Blame the flimsy socialist ideas that govern this state. And Mexican don't stand up and demand of their own County.
Hire Americans!
This is not racist this is our reality.

Can I assume that he is an illegal, right? I hope his a** gets dumped back to where he came from....Do we need this productive people in our country I may ask?

The election is over. The time of "hope and change", is now "back to the real world". You voted for all Democrats, and if you like what you see here, you made the right choice. In fact, the Democrats have a Christmas present for you, 40,000 early released inmates next year released onto the streets. They also will be working hard for amnesty for illegal immigrants, many of them in gangs.

Good job, California.

So are Israel Pena Lopez, 35, and Alejandro Sanchez, 22, legal residents or illegal aliens?

They need to gather up all gang member and send them to a deserted island. Let them kill each other and leave us civalized humans live without fear.

His first name is Israel; he was probably born here. While this cries out for the death penalty, that is too expensive. Further, it will punish his parents, who are probably nice people, who were unable to compete with the streets.

The death penalty is very expensive; it costs $ millions which we can't afford, and takes 15 to 30 years to enforce. It is much cheaper to sentence people like this to life with no parole. If they act up, you can take away privileges, like writing to family, visits, time outside except what the Constitution demands, and library privileges.

Mr. Lopez will either repent and change his ways, or have a very unpleasant second half of his life.

If California wants safer streets we half to stop sending non-violent criminals to jail at the same level as hard street crime convicts. Then there would be jail space and adequate resources for them. And not shop lifters, weed dealers, and first time low-level non violent crime. You can't spend the same dime twice.
At home we balance the house budget by prioritizing expenses. Health, education, safety not subsidize prison industry.

What a coward! Just lock him up and throw away the key, these types of criminals never learn.

Israel Pena Lopez, should have never been let out. There is no cure for a gang member. Their mentality is that of an animal.

what happened to the 3 strikes and your out?

why' you ask he is on the street? read about how the aclu is helping gangs stay active in the ocregister. thats why.

I don't even want to visit LA.


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