Gang Members To Face Trial For Shooting At Anaheim Police

This came over the transom from the OC District Attorney’s office:

GANG MEMBERS TO FACE TRIAL FOR FIRING SEVERAL ROUNDS AT OFFICER’S VEHICLE ON PATROL IN ANAHEIM

SANTA ANA – Three defendants are expected to face trial Monday for firing several rounds at a police officer’s vehicle that was out on patrol in Anaheim for the benefit of their Hispanic criminal street gang. Juan Carlos Covarrubias, 22, Jordy Roman Martinez, 21, Andrew Gomez Sanchez, 21, all of Anaheim, are each charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, two felony counts of attempted murder on a peace officer, one felony count of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, and one felony count of street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for the vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member and criminal street gang activity. If convicted, they each face a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Covarrubias, Martinez, and Sanchez are accused of actively participating in a criminal Hispanic street gang with knowledge that its members engage is a pattern of criminal gang activity.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on June 1, 2012, Sanchez is accused of driving Martinez and Covarrubias and pulling up in front of an unmarked Anaheim Police Department (APD) vehicle that was patrolling the street. Sanchez is accused of driving the car on the wrong side of the road to block the officer’s vehicle from moving forward on Palm Street at Boysen Avenue in Anaheim. The officers were in their full uniform at the time of the incident.

Martinez accused of getting out of the vehicle with a loaded firearm and shooting several rounds at the officers inside the vehicle with specific intent, premeditation, and deliberation to murder the police officers. The officers attempted to find safety by turning their vehicle around, switching on their police emergency lights, and attempting to drive to safety.

Martinez is accused of getting back inside the vehicle. Sanchez is accused of pursuing the officer’s vehicle and one of the other defendants is accused of continuing to shoot at the officers while they were driving. The defendants are accused of lodging two bullets on the front passenger side of the officer’s vehicle. The officers were not struck and did not return fire.

The defendants are accused of shooting at the officer’s vehicle for the benefit of a criminal street gang to promote and assist in criminal conduct by members of that gang.

When responding police units arrived, the defendants are accused of crashing their vehicle at a fenced off lot on Midway and Anaheim Boulevard and attempting to flee the scene on foot.

APD officers caught and arrested Martinez and Covarrubias. The defendants are accused of discarding two pistols at the scene. APD set up a perimeter around the area and arrested Sanchez after locating him at a school near the crash scene approximately one hour later.

APD investigated this case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Gary LoGalbo of the TARGET Unit is prosecuting this case.

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