Santa Ana Shooting Result of Drug-Related Robbery, Police Say

Santa Ana Shooting Result of Drug-Related Robbery, Police Say
Police respond to reports of gunfire at the Essex Skyline complex in Santa Ana, Calif., on Sept. 2, 2020. (Jack Bradley/The Epoch Times)
Jack Bradley

The Sept. 2 shoot-out in a Santa Ana, California, high-rise apartment tower was the result of a drug-related robbery gone wrong, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.

Police responded to reported gunfire at the Essex Skyline complex at 15 MacArthur Place around 3:15 p.m. on Sept. 2 to discover three wounded men scattered throughout the building. The three, ages 19, 25, and 27, were all taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the department’s public information officer, told The Epoch Times that two of the injured men discovered at the scene—the 19-year-old and the 25-year-old—have been booked on felony charges related to the incident.

“The two are in our custody. They’re being booked on attempted murder, robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon,” Bertagna said.

“The third guy is actually, at this point, a victim. Now whether the [District Attorney] decides to file narcotics charges on him is yet to be determined,” he added.

Bertagna said the shootings were believed to be the result of a suspected robbery during a marijuana transaction in a 15th floor apartment. Police subsequently served a search warrant and seized marijuana, money, and two guns from the unit, he said.

The three shooting victims, whose names were withheld, were all rushed to “the local trauma center” by first responders following the incident, Bertagna said. He added that they remain in stable condition.

“They're all still in the hospital. They all required surgery,”  Bertagna said.

Police said they found one of the booked men in a parking structure with bullet wounds to the upper body, and the other in a lobby with gunshot wounds to the upper and lower body.

The third man was the resident of the 15th floor apartment where he was discovered, Bertagna said. He suffered a graze wound and a blow to the head.

The 27-year-old man remains hospitalized but had not yet been booked or arrested, Bertagna said.

Residents of the 14th floor told The Epoch Times on Sept. 2 that they were watching television when they heard gunfire erupt on the floor above them. Soon after, police and SWAT teams evacuated the building to search for suspects, they said.

Residents were allowed to return to the building around 6:30 p.m.

City News Service contributed to this report.