MyNewsLA.com photo.
MyNewsLA.com photo.

While an investigation was under way Friday into an officer-involved shooting in Santa Ana, where two suspects were killed and two others arrested, a suspect allegedly involved in a gunbattle with police in a separate conflict this week was charged with attempted murder on a police officer, authorities said.

Thursday’s shooting took place about three miles from where an officer-involved gunbattle was fought Wednesday, leaving a suspect wounded and a detective with a graze injury to his head.

No officers were injured in Thursday’s shooting, reported about 5:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of East Fourth Street, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Officers were responding to a burglary in progress at a business and contacted four people at the scene, Bertagna said.

“Some type of struggle ensued,” Bertagna said.

The names of the two dead men were withheld pending family notification. Bertagna did not know the names of the two suspects being questioned by police.

A gun from one of the suspects was recovered, Bertagna said.

“We’re seeing more guns,” Bertagna told reporters at the scene. “We’re seeing more robberies. We’re seeing more gangsters carrying guns and not afraid of using them.”

The uptick in gun violence this year has unsettled the city and authorities.

“We’re seeing a lot of gang activity, a lot of shootings,” Santa Ana police Chief Carlos Rojas told reporters Thursday night. “There have been 50 shootings in Santa Ana so far this year.”

The latest shooting happened about three miles from the 2700 block of West McFadden Avenue, where Wednesday’s gunfight occurred.

Carlos Michael Rodriguez, 30, of Santa Ana, a documented gang member who was paroled Sept. 27 after eight years in prison for assault with a gun on a Santa Ana police officer, remains hospitalized as a result of wounds he suffered in Wednesday’s gunbattle.

Rodriguez was charged today with one count each of attempted murder on a police officer, assault with a semiautomatic firearm on a peace officer, possession of a firearm by a felon, and two counts of possession for sale of a controlled substance, all felonies. He also faces a sentencing enhancement allegation for the personal discharge of a firearm.

Rodriguez was convicted of car theft in 2005, possession of a controlled substance and violating a protective order in 2006 and assault with a semiautomatic rifle on a peace officer and resisting arrest in 2008, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

If he is convicted at trial, Rodriguez could face up to 42 years to life in prison.

Rodriguez is suspected of opening fire on a detective who approached him during a “proactive enforcement” in the area, which has seen a rash of gang violence in recent weeks, Bertagna said.

If Rodriguez is discharged from the hospital in time, he will be arraigned Monday.

It was not immediately clear if the officer-involved shootings Wednesday and Thursday were connected. Both shootings were being investigated by the Santa Ana Police Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Special Assignment Unit, a standard practice in all OIS incidents.

— City News Service

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