Three men were killed and a woman wounded early Thursday in a gun battle in a west Santa Ana neighborhood that police said followed an argument over the sale of narcotics.
Between 12 and 15 rounds were fired in an exchange of gunshots at about 2 a.m. that awakened many residents living in the 4500 block of West Posey Street, Police Sgt. Bob Ensley said.
When police arrived they found an unidentified man described as being Latino and about 45 years old with multiple gunshot wounds lying unconscious on the street in front of a house at 4522 W. Posey St., Ensley said. He was taken by paramedics to the UCI Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Arnulfo Magallan, 18, and Lucio Diaz, who investigators said was between 30 and 35 years old, were each shot several times and discovered inside the house, Ensley said. They also were taken to UCI Medical Center and pronounced dead on arrival.
Carmen Molina Magallan, 46, whom investigators identified as Magallan’s mother and Diaz’s common-law wife, was shot once in the stomach and taken to Western Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman said she was conscious and in stable condition.
Investigators said the gun battle started after two men approached the house and began arguing with people inside. Both sides exchanged gunfire but the only weapon police found was a handgun lying beside the unidentified man shot in the street, Ensley said.
Witnesses said the second man left in an automobile. Ensley said investigators do not know the man’s identity, nor do they have an adequate description of the car.
Ensley said witnesses to the shooting told police that the argument involved “heroin and/or cocaine,” but no drugs were found inside the house. Sgt. John McClain said some young men living at 4518 W. Posey St. were in the Magallan home when the shooting occurred. They were questioned by police but declined to talk to reporters.
A neighbor, Arlene Cruz, said she was awakened by about six shots which, after a pause of a few moments, were followed by six more shots.
She said that when she looked out the window of her house she saw a man lying in the street and police cars with lights and sirens driving through the neighborhood.
Autopsies were performed on the three victims Thursday but the results were not immediately available.