Hunt Still on for Suspect in 2 Shootings

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Manuel Salas, a 20-year-old suspected in the shooting death of a teenager and the wounding of a second youth, remains at large and is believed to be hiding in the Santa Ana area, a police spokesman said Sunday.

Salas is armed with a semiautomatic pistol and is considered very dangerous, Santa Ana Police Sgt. Raul Luna said. Police investigators spent Sunday contacting the suspect's relatives, friends and acquaintances trying to locate him.

"He has been on a three-day drug binge and is despondent," Luna said, "so there is some anger involved, and that makes him even more dangerous and unstable."

Robert S. Ornales, 16, of Anaheim was killed early Saturday after, authorities say, Salas put a gun to Ornales' head at a Santa Ana social gathering and fired repeatedly. An unidentified 16-year-old who was at the same gathering was shot and wounded.

The gunman immediately fled the scene. Police believe he has both the pistol and another handgun, Luna said.

"We still believe [Salas] is in Orange County and in the Santa Ana area," Luna said. "We are receiving calls on the event from friends and acquaintances of his that are providing us with bits of information which we are piecing together."

Salas is a Santa Ana resident.

Police do not have a clear motive for the fatal shooting. Salas knew both victims, Luna said, and their relationships were more than casual, going back a long time.

Initially, police had asked for the public's help to find Salas. But Luna said anyone who sees the suspect should call 911.

The suspect has been associated with a gang, and police believe he is also being sought by the victims' friends.

"We're also asking the suspect to surrender. He can call us and we'll guarantee his safety," Luna said. "We aren't the only ones looking for him. But we believe his best chance is with the police because we can at least guarantee his safety."

The suspect is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has brown eyes, a shaved head and upper-body tattoos, police said.

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