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North Tustin mom charged with Mother's Day murder

May 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A woman is behind bars on suspicion of killing her 73-year-old husband and wounding her teenage son in a Mother's Day shooting in North Tustin.

Annamaria Magno Gana, 41, is accused of fatally shooting her husband, Antonio Potenciano Gana, in the chest and shooting her 16-year-old son at least twice in the upper torso at their home at 18422 Manning Drive. The boy managed to escape to a neighbor's home. He is expected to survive.

The couple's 9-year-old son was home at the time, but was not injured.

"I just saw a boy running out. He yelled. It was a short little yell," said neighbor Mark Kemper. "I thought the boys were just playing."

When deputies arrived at the home after the 4:25 p.m. shooting, the 9-year-old boy was holding what investigators suspect was the murder weapon, described as a high-powered handgun.

The husband was pronounced dead at a hospital and the teen was transported to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana in critical condition.

Authorities said Gana had fired a single shot into the ceiling. Her husband and teenage son rushed in to the room and that's when they were shot. They are trying to determine what prompted the woman to fire the gun.

Friends of the family were baffled by the shooting as well, but said Gana had undergone a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation after being diagnosed with breast cancer last fall.

"Maybe she got into a slump that she just couldn't get out of," said Lynette Sagarino, a family friend. "Maybe she didn't think there was any hope."

"I do not believe the illness was the cause of the shooting," Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said, adding that financial problems may be to blame.

Annamaria Gana was being treated at a hospital Monday for gunpowder burns on her hand. An arraignment date had not yet been set, Amormino said.

Officials said the father was a retired colonel from the Philippines and a former general manager of the Manila International Airport.

Friends said the couple owned a small business in Orange. They described Gana as a father involved in his sons' lives.

"We just had a big play at school and he was so proud," Sagarino said.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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