At least four people were injured in two separate shootings that occurred within 1 hour late Wednesday in west Santa Ana. One of the victims was reportedly shot by a police officer.
Details of the incidents, which began shortly after 9 p.m., were sketchy. Police, who were still interviewing several witnesses at the Santa Ana police station late Wednesday, were withholding information about the incidents and would confirm only that two unrelated shootings had occurred.
However, police did confirm that in the first shooting incident, an officer was involved. Witnesses said the second was a drive-by shooting in which three brothers were wounded in a hail of gunfire.
A Fire Department dispatcher said a total of four people were taken by emergency vehicles to hospitals from the South Townsend Street and Pomona Street areas.
While it could not be confirmed, an unidentified police officer at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center said that a Santa Ana officer had shot a suspect who grabbed his baton and struck him with it during the first incident at Townsend Street. The officer refused to give his name.
Residents of the Townsend Street area said that at least five witnesses to the officer-involved shooting were taken to the police station for questioning.
Officials declined to release the names of the injured.
An emergency room attendant at the Fountain Valley hospital said at least two people were being treated--one a police officer with a head injury and another man who was in serious condition with three gunshot wounds to the chest and stomach. The police officer’s injury did not appear to be serious, the emergency room technician said.
A relative at the hospital identified the man shot in the Townsend Street incident as Daniel Escobedo, 23, of Daisy Avenue.
That incident occurred in the 800 block of South Townsend Street about 9 p.m., followed by reports of shots fired about 50 minutes later in the 2300 block of Pomona Street, about a mile away.
Residents in the Pomona Street area, a heavily Latino community near Centennial Regional Park, reported hearing as many as 18 gunshots. “It was like a semiautomatic weapon or something,” said Carlos Campos, a Pomona Street resident.
Joseph Pimentel, a 21-year-old nursing student who lives in the area, said he grabbed his stethoscope and ran out to Pomona Street after hearing a car crash and then an automatic weapon was fired.
Pimentel said he was told that two cars collided and then “someone jumps out and opens fire on three guys walking down the street.” He said the suspects fled after the incident.