A 19-year-old pleaded not guilty Monday to gunning down a rival for his girlfriend in Santa Ana.
Jose Antonio Mejia-Garcia of Santa Ana is accused of the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Froylan Vazquez of Santa Ana May 10, Santa Ana Police Department Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Police were called just after 10:30 p.m. to the 1900 block of South Fairview Street, where they found Vazquez with a gunshot wound to the upper body, Bertagna said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Surveillance video showed a black pickup truck fleeing the scene of the shooting, Bertagna said. Police used surveillance video footage to help link Mejia-Garcia to the shooting.
Mejia-Garcia also made “incriminating statements” while being questioned by police, Bertagna said.
Mejia-Garcia found out that his friend, Vazquez, was dating his girlfriend behind his back, so he went to confront the victim in front of his home, which led to the shooting, Bertagna said.
Mejia-Garcia was charged with murder with a sentencing enhancement for the discharge of a gun causing death.
Mejia-Garcia, who was being held on $1 million bail, was ordered to return to court for a pretrial hearing June 25 in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.