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Suspect hospitalized after officer-involved shooting in Santa Ana

December 16, 2012 |  9:31 am

A man was in surgery Sunday morning after he was shot by Santa Ana police overnight, authorities said.

The incident began shortly before midnight when officers were called to the 500 block of East Washington Avenue after neighbors reported a man and woman involved in "some type of disturbance" in the front yard of a fourplex, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

When police tried to talk to the man, Bertagna said, he appeared to put something in his waistband and ran down a driveway into a "heavily wooded" backyard. Police followed. When the man reached a wall at the back of the yard, Bertagna said, he "turns around, faces the officers and reaches for his waistband."

At least one officer then fired "multiple rounds," Bertagna said.

The man then jumped over the wall, Bertagna said. Police chased after him and took him into custody on the other side of the wall.

The suspect, who was shot at least twice in the upper body, was taken to a hospital. Bertagna said he was in serious but stable condition Sunday morning.

Bertagna identified the man as Ignacio Leon Jr., 27, who has a "long criminal history." Court records indicated Leon had cases in both Riverside and Orange counties, including a 2006 conviction of carjacking, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon that resulted in a three-year prison sentence.

The woman involved in the call was questioned by officers and later released, Bertagna said. Her relationship with the man was not clear.

No weapon has been recovered, Bertagna said. He said detectives believe one or two people were in the backyard at the time of the shooting and seized the suspect's weapon when police jumped over the wall to follow the suspect.

Investigators are now looking for those individuals, he said.

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— Kate Mather

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