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Orange County

Shootings in Tustin and La Habra Claim 2 Lives

January 06, 2003|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

Two men were shot to death in separate attacks in Orange County early Sunday, police said.

A 32-year-old Tustin man was fatally shot outside of his apartment complex in the 16000 block of Alliance Street after witnesses saw him talking to an unidentified man about 1 a.m., said Tustin Police Lt. Mike Shanahan.

Mario Cano Santamaria was taken to Western Medical Center-Santa Ana where he died of gunshot wounds, Shanahan said. The gunman was seen leaving in a dark-colored SUV with another man, police said.

"[Santamaria] went outside to talk to this person," Shanahan said. "But we don't know what precipitated the shooting."

Police are still investigating, and have not ruled out gangs and robbery as motives, he said.

Several hours later in La Habra, an El Monte man was shot outside of a mobile home park about 5 a.m.

James Anthony Vasquez, 20, was taken to St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton where he died, said La Habra Police Lt. Jeff Love. Police released few details about the shooting, which took place at Park La Habra Mobile Homes in the 1700 block of West Lambert Road.

Residents at the mobile home park said they were awakened by the gunfire and ducked for cover.

"There were multiple gunshots," said a woman who declined to give her name. "It's a quiet neighborhood, so it caught my attention."

Other neighbors said the occupant of the mobile home where the shooting occurred moved in about six months ago.

"Since then, there's been a lot of comings and goings there," another neighbor said.

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