Santa Ana struggles with rise in shootings, gang crime

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- With 55 shootings since the start of the year, the city of Santa Ana is struggling to contain a surge in gang-related violence.

The city has also seen three officer-involved shootings this year - two of them coming this week alone.

Thursday night, officers shot and killed two burglary suspects, known to be gang members, and took another two suspects into custody.

On Wednesday, police said Carlos Rodriguez, a known gang member, shot at a detective and the officer fired back, hitting Rodriguez. Both were taken to the hospital and are expected to survive.

Police Chief Carlos Rojas said the department will step up enforcement in respond to the spike in crime.

"I want the gang members to know that the Santa Ana Police Department is going to do everything they need to do, to keep this city safe," Rojas said.

In some cases, residents not involved in gangs have been caught up in the violence.

Francisco Gonzalez, a father of four, was shot and killed this week when he was standing outside his home. His family said the 24-year-old was not in a gang and police believe he was an innocent bystander ensnared in gang activity.

"We want to know who it was, we want justice," said his brother, Jose Gonzalez. "We're really going through a difficult time right now."
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