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Arrest Warrant Issued in Officer Shooting

October 22, 1998|JASON KANDEL

Police issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for the man suspected of shooting a police officer this month.

Authorities said Fernando Ramirez Garcia, 28, a Mexican national, had been pulled over Oct. 6 in the 4200 block of West 5th Street by an unidentified officer for driving with expired vehicle registration tags, when he began shooting into the police car.

Multiple rounds pierced the windshield and door, striking the officer, who returned fire. Police don't know if the gunman was hit before fleeing on foot. A female companion who was in the car at the time of the shooting remained at the scene and has cooperated with police.

The suspect is about 5 feet 4 inches tall, 140 pounds, with dark curly hair, thin mustache and brown eyes. He has a tattoo saying "Virginia" on the right side of his neck. Police believe he still may be in Santa Ana.

"The suspect is a known drug dealer," Santa Ana Police Chief Paul M. Walters said. "He did not want to return to prison."

The officer, whose name was not released, was struck in the thigh. He was taken to Western Medical Center-Santa Ana, where he was treated and released. He has since returned to patrol duty.

The woman, whose identity was not released, was booked on unrelated charges.

Police say Garcia, who also goes by the names Ruben Garibay Zepeda and Gerardo Lopez, was released from prison in 1996 and has a significant police record, mostly related to narcotics offenses. The suspect was formally deported from the United States in 1997.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department: (714) 245-8665.

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