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3 arrested in Santa Ana restaurant shooting

February 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Santa Ana detectives have arrested three people in connection with the fatal shooting outside a restaurant over the weekend.

Police arrested Ivan Sanchez after receiving an anonymous call from someone who recognized the 21-year-old from recently released surveillance video. Maria Rocha, 28, of Santa Ana, and another male suspect, who is not being identified, because he is a minor turned themselves in Friday afternoon.

The surveillance video shows Sanchez, wearing a baseball cap, with two men and Rocha in a Santa Ana restaurant shortly before Sanchez allegedly shot an innocent man Sunday night.

The victim, Esteban Navarrete, his wife and another couple were seated in between the suspects and another group as the two sides argued.

"The fight was over which state in Mexico was better. The two groups were obviously from different parts of Mexico," said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

The two groups then got into a fist fight in the parking lot. Police said Navarrate, his wife and the other couple were getting into their car to leave when the shooting happened.

"The suspect and maybe one or two others got out of the SUV, approached the victim, the victim got out of the car and informed them he's not involved with other group and the suspect still shoots him," said Bertagna.

The 35-year-old was shot in the head and later died in the hospital.

Police say they had Sanchez under surveillance Thursday night after receiving the anonymous tip. Authorities allege his father and some friends were driving him to Mexico when police stopped their vehicle and made the arrest.

The three suspects are being charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder.

Detectives continue to search for one male suspect involved in the shooting. He was last seen leaving the crime scene in a gray-colored SUV.

Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Ana police at (714) 245-8390.

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