Minister Is Arrested in 1993 Killing


A reputed gang member who became a minister has been arrested in Alabama in connection with a 1993 drive-by shooting in Santa Ana that killed a rival gang member, police said Monday.

Geronimo Galvan Burgos, 29, is expected to be returned to Santa Ana on Wednesday to face charges in the shooting of Christian Madera, 19, Santa Ana Police Sgt. Raul Luna said. Police in Russellville, Ala., said Burgos is a minister at a predominantly Latino church and occasionally preaches on television.

According to accounts at the time of the shooting, Madera was killed while standing in a driveway with other men on West Downie Place, in the northwest corner of Santa Ana. He was shot in the abdomen and died at UCI Medical Center in Orange. Two other men were wounded.


According to police, a gunman leaned out the window of a passing vehicle and fired four or five shots.

On Monday, Luna called Burgos “our primary suspect” but did not release additional details about him or the shooting. Luna said a no-bail warrant has been issued.

“Based on our investigation, we feel we have a good case against him,” Luna said. “The investigation has been ongoing since the homicide occurred.”

Russellville police had never had any contact with Burgos until his arrest Wednesday, Assistant Police Chief Robert Pace said.

“Everybody in the community was talking about what a nice fellow he was,” Pace said. “We learned that he counsels Hispanic inmates at the county jail, but we didn’t know anything about him until we got a copy of the warrant.”

He said Santa Ana police apparently had help from people in Russellville, a town of 12,000, “because they faxed us a bunch of information about him, including where we could find him.”


Burgos did not resist arrest by two Russellville officers and denied involvement in the shooting, Pace said.

It is unclear when Burgos moved to Alabama.