Gunman Kills Pair in Front of Busy Deli

Times Staff Writer

A man unleashed a torrent of gunfire in front of a busy Mexican deli in Santa Ana on Sunday morning, killing a man and woman and sending dozens of people running for safety, police said.

The suspected shooter, whose name was not released, was arrested by Santa Ana police shortly after the double slaying on 5th Street near Newhope Street.

At the time of the shooting, dozens of people were in the area, which includes half a dozen small restaurants, markets and a self-serve carwash.

The gunman confronted the pair and shot them repeatedly, reloading his weapon several times, police said. At least 10 shots were fired. Witnesses said the woman was in her mid-30s to mid-40s; the man was in his 30s.


“It appears this guy’s anger was focused on this woman and man and no one else,” said Sgt. Carlos Rojas, a Santa Ana police spokesman. “We were lucky no one else was hurt.”

The victims, whose names were not released, died at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange and Western Medical Center-Santa Ana.

The alleged gunman, described as being in his 40s, surrendered without incident to the first officer at the scene, Rojas said. “The arresting officer said the man was calm. He just put his gun down and surrendered,” he added.

Rojas said the investigation was continuing.


The midmorning gunfire erupted as Mario Herrera, 45, and his son, Alberto, 10, were walking out of a cafe.

“It was loud, not pop, pop, pop. But boom, boom, boom,” said Herrera, who added that he and his son ran to an office in the cafe.

As they fled, the boy saw the woman covered in blood on the sidewalk. “I saw the lady on the ground and I started crying,” he said.