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Two shot in melee after speeding car crashes in Santa Ana

July 16, 2012 |  7:01 am

It was anything but a quiet night in one Santa Ana neighborhood after a speeding SUV crashed into a brick wall early Monday morning and shots were fired as residents tried to keep the suspects from fleeing.

The SUV hit a speed bump in the 1300 block of South Douglas Street shortly after midnight, causing it to crash into a parked car before it hit a brick wall, wrought iron fence and light pole, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Residents went outside to find three people inside the SUV — a 17-year-old female driver and two male passengers, ages 21 and 16 — trying to leave, Bertagna said. The residents called police and managed to get the trio to sit on the curb, which is when the melee broke out.

"The adult male suspect apparently decides to stand up — he's going to leave — and when he's confronted by the victims, he pulls a gun from out of his front pocket," Bertagna said.

A scuffle broke out and the gun went off, Bertagna said, the bullet striking an "innocent bystander" across the street.

The noise drew more neighbors outside, who watched as the 21-year-old man tried to run, Bertagna said. Investigators aren't sure what exactly happened next, but the gun went off a second time, this time striking the suspect in the chest.

Bertagna said the man then ran away with the 16-year-old boy, but both were arrested about a block away.

The 21-year-old suspect was in "serious but stable" condition; the bystander suffered non-life-threatening injuries to his arm, Bertagna said. Both were taken to Western Medical Center.

The teenagers in the car suffered minor injuries in the crash but they were treated before being taken into custody, Bertagna said. The three face charges including felony hit-and-run and either assault with a deadly weapon or attempted murder.

Bertagna said alcohol was a suspected factor in the crash.


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— Kate Mather

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