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2 Men Are Shot, Killed

Santa Ana police think the deaths are unrelated but gang-involved. Four people are arrested in one of them.

January 23, 2005|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

Two men have been killed in apparently unrelated but gang-involved shootings, Santa Ana police said Saturday.

Detectives arrested four suspects Friday night and early Saturday in the death of Alvaro Ivan Candelo, 21, said Lt. Joe Kahapea.

Officers found Candelo on the ground suffering from multiple gunshot wounds at 4:37 p.m. Friday in the 6000 block of South Standard Avenue. Residents had called police to report shots fired.

Candelo was taken to Western Medical Center-Santa Ana, where he died.

Hours later, police arrested Richard Gustavo Malaga, 24, Alfonso Sanchez, 19, and two 14-year-olds as suspects in the shooting. The motive was unknown, but investigators believe the shooting was gang-related, Kahapea said.

Gang activity was also believed to have been behind a Saturday shooting that killed Julio Cesar Ramirez, 34. Kahapea said officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of North English Street at 7:30 a.m. when residents reported shots fired.

Ramirez was found lying on the ground with at least one gunshot wound. He was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he died, Kahapea said. Police were pursuing leads; there was no information on possible suspects.

Despite the two killings, gang violence has been on the decline in Santa Ana. Gang shootings occurred almost daily in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, until officers began an aggressive community policing program that has become a model for other cities.

Some older gang-related killings remain unsolved, but Santa Ana detectives began looking at cold cases in 1998. Several killers have been convicted in cases that had remained unsolved for as long as 15 years.

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