Gang member mistakenly kills one of his own who was wearing wrong colors, police say


A Central California man was arrested this week after allegedly mistaking a fellow gang member for a rival and shooting him to death because he was wearing the wrong colors, police said.

Andrew Chavez, 21, was taken into custody Wednesday on suspicion of murder, days after detectives began investigating the slaying in Madera.

He is also suspected of committing a criminal offense to promote a street gang, according to Madera County Sheriff’s Department jail records.


According to the Madera Police Department, Chavez shot and killed Michael Sanchez, whose age was not available, on Sunday. Both men were both Norteno gang members, police said.

Sanchez was wearing the colors of a rival gang and walking home from a bar near Gateway Drive and 11th Street, where he was fatally struck by gunfire, police said.

Police said Sanchez was killed in “cold blood.”

Chavez was on probation for running away from police while holding an AK-47 assault rifle, police said. He is being held on more than a $1-million-bail.

“We would like to extend our condolences to the family of the victim,” police said in a statement. “I hope that the efforts taken by our officers gives some closure to the family as they grieve the loss of their loved one.”

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