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Santa Ana police shoot, kill suspected gang member

January 16, 2011 | 11:34 pm

Santa Ana police fatally shot an 18-year-old suspected gang member Sunday afternoon after he confronted them with a knife, authorities said.

Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department said two gang detectives were driving through the man’s neighborhood, looking for him in connection with a probation violation involving weapons, when he ran to his home in the 1100 block of South Shelton Street.

When the man, who police did not identify, opened his gate, the officers were attacked by a pit bull. Bertagna said the police fatally shot the pit bull and then were told by a neighbor that the man was hiding a few doors down.

When they found him in a backyard shed, he fled again into another house. Confronted there, Bertagna said, “He came at the officers with the knife and they had to shoot him.” He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The identity of the officers was not released. Bertagna said the shooting, which occurred at 4:40 p.m, was under investigation by the Orange County district attorney’s office and his department.


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--Bettina Boxall