Four people were shot to death in unrelated incidents during a 14-hour spree of violence in Orange County's largest city over the past weekend.
"This has been a very unusually active weekend for us in terms of homicides," said Santa Ana Police Lt. Charles Magdalena. "There doesn't seem to be any pattern or reason for this."
No arrests have been made in any of the slayings, three of which took place Saturday. The fourth occurred Sunday. One of the killings was gang-related.
At 2:06 a.m. Sunday, a 24-year-old man was shot to death during an apparent traffic altercation with the occupants of another car.
The man, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, and a friend were driving east on 17th Street near Harbor Boulevard when the shooting occurred.
"He became involved in an argument with the occupants of a small red car as they were driving parallel to each other," Magdalena said. "A person in the small red car fired a gun at the victim, who was struck by a bullet."
The man lost control of his car and collided with a light pole. His passenger was not injured.
Less than three hours earlier, a 24-year-old man was shot to death in the 5300 block of West McFadden Avenue, in what police said appeared to be an attempted robbery.
Witnesses told police that the victim, whose name was also not released pending notification of relatives, was being chased down McFadden Avenue toward Euclid Street about 11:30 p.m. Saturday by a man wearing a dark-colored, hooded sweat shirt.
"The victim ran into a church driveway, tripped and fell on his face on the sidewalk," Magdalena said. "The suspect ran up to him and fired several rounds into the back and head of the victim."
The gunman was last seen running westbound on McFadden Avenue, police said.
About two hours before that incident, a man was killed when shots suddenly rang out at a party in the 4900 block of West 6th Street.
"A group of 15 to 25 gang members crashed a flyer party," Magdalena said. "Several fights broke out at the party and several shots were fired into the crowd with a handgun."
Sean Donovan Zimmer, 19, of Santa Ana, the only party-goer to be struck by gunfire in the 9:35 p.m. incident, died at the scene. The gang members ran from the scene after the shooting, police said.
The series of shootings began Saturday morning when a 23-year-old Santa Ana man, dressed in women's clothing, was shot to death about 11:50 a.m. after a fight near the corner of Bishop and Maple streets.
The victim, Daniel A. Castro, was walking with a male friend when they were confronted by a group of men standing in the front yard of a home. Hostile words were exchanged and one of the men followed Castro and his companion to the 600 block of South Maple Street, where a fight ensued and Castro was shot.
Police said Sunday they had made no arrests in the shooting, which they described as unprovoked.