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Jury convicts parolee in 2008 Granada Hills Catholic School festival shooting

March 24, 2011 |  5:36 pm

A jury has convicted a North Hollywood man of attempted murder in a shooting that wounded his ex-girlfriend and two others at a parish school festival, the district attorney’s office said Thursday.

Fernando Diaz, 36, was convicted by a jury on two counts of attempted murder and assault with a firearm and one count of a felon with a firearm in connection with the shooting that took place May 17, 2008, at St. John Baptist de la Salle Catholic Church in Granada Hills.

Diaz, who will be sentenced May 16 at San Fernando Superior Court, potentially faces a maximum of multiple life sentences in state prison.

Diaz and his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his child, were embroiled in a bitter custody battle when he showed up at the carnival with a .22-caliber rifle made to look like an M-16 assault rifle.

The woman and his young son were setting up a carnival booth at the child's school when Diaz suddenly appeared holding a tennis bag on his shoulder. After hugging his child, he set down the bag, took out the weapon and aimed it at his ex-girlfriend, Ruiz said, firing multiple rounds and setting off a panic on the school field.

His ex-girlfriend sustained a gunshot to the elbow. One man was shot in the chest and another man was wounded in the leg.

Five parents, including an off-duty Burbank police officer, disarmed Diaz, the prosecutor said. Police later found 20 bullets in the tennis bag.

At the time of the shooting, Diaz was on parole and subject to a restraining order was in place to prevent him from being near the school or his son and ex-girlfriend.

--Andrew Blankstein