Police Evacuate Building After 3 Shot in Santa Ana

September 3, 2020 Updated: September 4, 2020

SANTA ANA, Calif.—Police responding to reported gunfire in Santa Ana on Sept. 2 found three victims shot and injured at the high-rise Essex Skyline tower complex on MacArthur Place.

Police were called to the 25-story south tower of the complex located at 15 MacArthur Place at around 3:15 p.m. The building was evacuated while police in tactical gear searched for the suspect, who was never found and remains at large.

Police identified the victims as three men, ages 19, 25, and 27. The victims were taken to a local hospital and are in stable condition, police said.

John Dickson and Sierra Goller told The Epoch Times they were sitting on the couch watching TV in their 14th floor apartment when they heard gunshots coming from the floor above them.

“I was just in my house and heard—it sounded almost like a door knock,” Dickson told The Epoch Times. He then heard sirens, and “all these cops pulled up,” he said.

Dickson said his doorbell displays a video directly onto his phone from the apartment door. When he looked at it, he saw a SWAT team armed with heavy artillery walking down the hallway.

“I have a Ring camera at my door, so I saw just SWAT guys clearing out all the hallways,” Dickson said.

“They wanted to see the Ring footage, so they came up, looked at the Ring footage, and then just escorted us down to the stairs. … I saw them roll out a couple bodies in a wheelbarrow,” Dickson said.

Goller told The Epoch Times she saw a couple of people “wheeled out on the stretcher, covered in blood.”

“It’s just terrifying to know that this guy’s running around the building. He could have been on our floor hiding,” she said.

Another resident, Johnny Prez, told The Epoch Times he spoke to a victim on a gurney and asked if he was all right.

“He was like out of it, I don’t even think he was like conscious,” Prez said.

Prez said he was on his way out of the building to get groceries, but when the elevator doors opened in the lobby, he saw “blood on the floor.”

“I think another guy in the elevator must have got shot, like in the other elevator,” Prez said.

According to Santa Ana Police Department Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, officers located one victim on the ground floor and another in an apartment on the 15th floor. Details about where the third victim was found were not available.

The relationships among the injured are unknown. Bertagna told ABC7 News, “Our question is, of these three individuals that are injured, are they suspects or are they victims?”

The entire building was placed on lockdown until the SWAT team was able to clear each floor successfully. Police said they found two handguns that may have been used in the shooting.

After taking at least one person into custody, police exited the building at around 6 p.m. Residents were allowed to return to the building at approximately 6:30 p.m.