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California and the West

Party Crasher Held in Fatal Shooting of Teenage Parents

June 19, 1998|TOM GORMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN BERNARDINO — Two teenagers--who were the parents of a 5-month-old child--were shot and killed by another teenager who showed up uninvited at a high school graduation night party and refused to leave, authorities said Thursday.

Two other people were also injured as the gunman wildly fired a semiautomatic weapon outside the house to clear a path for his escape, said Lt. Bill Smith of the San Bernardino Police Department.

The suspect, identified as Donnie Estrada, 19, was arrested by police without incident Thursday morning at his San Bernardino home, Smith said.

Michael Williams and his girlfriend, Alicia Chagala, both 18, were killed, Smith said. Williams was a high school student but was not a graduating senior, said a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino Unified School District. Neither Chagala nor the suspect were students.

The shooting occurred late Wednesday at a home where the party was being held to celebrate graduation exercises earlier that evening at four area high schools, Smith said. About 200 people attended, including some who were not invited.

Estrada, characterized by police as a known party crasher, was confronted in the backyard of the house by the hostess and asked to leave, Smith said.

"They got into an argument and [Williams] intervened on behalf of the hostess, and a shoving match ensued," Smith said. "They were asked to take it out onto the street."

Outside, the continuing skirmish attracted many of the party-goers, and Estrada pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and fired, first shooting Williams at least seven times--even after he had fallen to the ground--before turning to Chagala, Smith said.

"Estrada turned to run away but there was a crowd around so he fired shots to clear a path," Smith said. Two other people were struck and suffered wounds that were not life threatening, he said.

About nine hours later, police with a search warrant went to Estrada's home and arrested him on suspicion of murder, Smith said.

The party was not sanctioned by any of the schools, and it was unclear if the parents were home at the time, Smith said.

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