Four arrested in gang-shooting case

Costa Mesa police on Thursday arrested four people, alleged to be members of a Costa Mesa gang, in connection with the April 24 shooting death of a Santa Ana man.

Detectives arrested three men and a juvenile at different locations in Costa Mesa early Thursday, Sgt. Marty Carver said. Jesus Ramon Rojo, 22, was arrested on suspicion of killing 20-year-old Julio Cesar Guerrero-Elias, a reputed member of a rival gang. Jose Luis Pena, 23, Jose Julio Garcilazo, 18, and a 17-year-old were arrested on suspicion of accessory to murder, Carver said.

Rojo, Pena and Garcilazo are being held without bail at the Costa Mesa city jail. The 17-year-old was being held at Orange County Juvenile Hall in Orange.

Guerrero-Elias was shot when he was dropping off a friend in an alley off Filmore Way. He drove several blocks, then crashed into a parked car. A resident called police to report the accident and Guerrero-Elias was taken by ambulance to a Fountain Valley hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The April 24 shooting was the second gang-related shooting in Costa Mesa in one month. In early April, a 19-year-old man survived after he was shot several times in the 1000 block of El Camino.

Police said the two shootings are not linked, and despite recent gang activity, gang crime is not on the rise in Costa Mesa, Carver said. There have not been any recent crimes in which gangs have targeted non-gang members, he said.

While serving the warrants, police arrested three other men on suspicion of parole violations ? associating with known gang members ? unrelated to the shooting, Carver said.


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