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Santa Ana car accident turns into shooting

July 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A bystander and suspect were shot after a car accident scene turned chaotic in a Santa Ana neighborhood.

The violence broke out overnight in the 1300 block of South Douglas Street. Police say it started when a Chevy Envoy SUV hit a speed bump and crashed into parked cars, an electrical pole and a brick wall and ended up on a resident's yard. An adult male, a 17-year-old male and 16-year-old female inside the SUV attempted to flee when residents inside the home tried to stop them.

Police say the adult male, identified as 23-year-old Jose Angel Benevides, then pulled out a handgun. A group of residents tried to tackle him, and the gun went off and hit a bystander in the arm from across the street. Benevides was shot in the chest, but it was not immediately clear how that happened.

"The suspect gets up after he either shot himself or during the scuffle and flees with the male juvenile suspect, and we detain them as we start to arrive at that time," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.

The bystander who was shot in the arm was transported to the hospital and is expected to be OK. Benevides was taken to a local hospital, where he is in stable condition.

According to police, Benevides is a known gang member with a lengthy record. He and the two juveniles with him were arrested. Southern California Edison worked overnight to repair power lines that were damaged in the initial accident.

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