Accused O.C. mass shooter found unable to stand trial; case on hold indefinitely
A man accused of carrying out a mass shooting in Orange County earlier this year will not stand trial after a judge ruled that a gunshot wound to his head had rendered him unable to assist in his defense.
The case against Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 45, will be put on hold indefinitely while he is placed in medical care to see if his condition improves enough for legal proceedings to continue.
Court records show that following the mental competency hearing Friday, Gonzalez was returned to Orange County Sheriff’s Department custody with no bail set.
“Every medical expert who has evaluated the defendant has concluded that he is not competent to assist his lawyers in his defense as a result of deficits he suffered from a gunshot wound by the responding police who stopped his massacre,” according to a statement by Kimberly Edds, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office.
Police say suspect Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez had a “business and personal relationship” with the victims
Gonzalez will now be evaluated by medical professionals who will help the court determine his future placement and develop a treatment plan “in an effort to restore his competency,” Edds said.
“He will continued to be housed in a lockdown facility,” she said. “His lawyers will return to court on Dec. 1 to discuss the report with the prosecution and judge.”
Edds said the district attorney’s office will have an expert conduct regular competency evaluations.
Gonzalez was charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, all felonies, as well as several enhancements and the special circumstance of multiple murders.
The mass shooting occurred on March 31 at Unified Homes, a manufactured-home dealer and real estate company in Orange.
Authorities alleged that Gonzalez drove a rental car to the commercial building then used bicycle cable locks to shut the front and rear entrances, trapping the victims inside the complex, before carrying out the shooting.
Officers arrived around 5:30 p.m. to the scene in the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue, minutes after receiving reports of a shooting. They encountered gunfire and shot through the locked gates, wounding the gunman, before using bolt cutters to enter the complex.
The victims were Genevieve Raygoza, 28; Luis Tovar, 50; Matthew Farias, 9; and Leticia Solis Guzman, 58.
Blanca Tamayo, the sole survivor, had been shot twice in the head and once in the arm. She lost two children that night — Raygoza and Farias.
Blanca Tamayo, the sole survivor in the Orange mass shooting in March, was released Wednesday afternoon from UCI Medical Center.
In court, Superior Court Judge Cheri Pham told the victims’ family members that Gonzalez’ incapacity forced her to halt proceedings.
Competency proceedings usually involve defendants with mental health issues. In Gonzalez’s case, his limitations were caused by physical wounds.
He has been compared to a stroke patient who has lost the ability to communicate effectively.
City News Service contributed to this report.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.