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2 Brothers Shot at Work Site in Possible Ambush : Crime: Witnesses say gunman fled on foot after incident at HTP International in Anaheim.

October 17, 1995|LEE ROMNEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — Two brothers were shot and wounded as they arrived for work Monday at an electronics company in an attack co-workers described as an ambush.

Pedro and Natividad Villareales had car-pooled to work from their Santa Ana home with two other friends, said George Rayas, plant manager for HTP International.

As they pulled into the company parking lot about 6:30 a.m. and got out of the car, an assailant opened fire on them from about 15 feet away, while another man looked on, Rayas said.

Police are considering the man who fired the shots the only suspect at this time, said Anaheim Police Lt. Ted Labahn. The suspect is described as a Latino in his 20s, 5-foot-5, with a thin build and dark clothing.

"To the best of my information, there was one shooter," said Labahn. "Whether there was anyone with him, I don't know. That person wouldn't necessarily be considered a suspect."

Other workers had seen the pair waiting under a tree at the parking lot at Howell Avenue and Lewis Street. They said it appeared the gunman was aiming for the brothers, according to Rayas. The brothers and the two other men who drove to work with them "just don't understand what happened," Rayas said.

Pedro Villareales, 26, was struck in the arm and Natividad Villareales, 24, was hit in the face, with the bullet entering through one of his cheeks and exiting through the other. Both men were taken to a hospital and listed in fair condition Monday night.

Rayas said workers saw the gunman and the other man running south on Lewis Street.

The brothers have worked on the assembly line at the plant for about two years and are "very good employees," Rayas said.

The driver of the car the brothers were in, who was uninjured, went looking for the gunman and the other man, Rayas said.

Rayas said the uninjured men told him that the assailant fired three rounds before his gun jammed.

"It's a good thing he was a bad shot," Rayas said.

The company's executive vice president, Irwin Zucker, who is serving as acting chief executive, said the shooting has left the plant's 300 employees shaken.

"We usually have a good sense of humor around here and that usually carries us through," Zucker said. "But something like this shakes everybody up. We've had cars broken into, but nothing like this."

Zucker said none of the employees seemed to recognize the attacker or the other man.

* HTP WOES: Anaheim firm acknowledges its revenue was overstated. D1

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