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Search continues for suspects in fatal Santa Ana shooting

November 5, 2011 | 12:50 pm

Santa Ana police continue to search for at least two suspects in a Wednesday night vehicle-to-vehicle shooting in the 1600 block of East Edinger Avenue. The shooting killed one man, injured another and led to a collision with car carrying a couple and three children.

Authorities have determined that the suspects were driving a Toyota Four-Runner westbound down Edinger, alongside a van driven by the victims.      

“There is some kind of interaction between the two cars,” said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. “Then someone in the Toyota fires multiple rounds into the van, striking both the passenger and the driver.”

The driver of the van, Juan Manuel Diaz, 36, died from gunshot wounds. His passenger, a 23-year-old cousin, remained in the hospital with non-life-threatening injures as of Thursday, Bertagna said.

Diaz lost control of his van and swerved into the eastbound lanes of Edinger before plowing into a Volkswagen Beetle that was carrying a five people near the intersection with Grand Avenue, authorities said. In the Beetle were an aunt and an uncle who were driving two nieces and a nephew, ages 5, 9 and 13.

Bertagna said that as of Thursday, all the Beetle passengers had been released from the hospital, with the exception of the aunt, who “took most of the impact” in the front passenger’s seat.   

The truck cut through a gas station at the intersection as its assailant fled the scene.     

Authorities have released a tape of the truck moving through the station, and are asking the public to help identify the vehicle. There appear to be two suspects in the truck.  


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--Matt Stevens

Photo: Police respond to the shooting at Edinger and Grand avenues Wednesday night. Credit: KTLA