Man hurt in officer-involved shooting in Santa Ana may be serial robbery suspect, police say – Orange County Register

SANTA ANA — One man was struck by gunfire during an officer-involved shooting at a gas station Thursday, Sept. 28, police said. Investigators believe the man may be a suspect they were searching for in connection with at least seven armed robberies.

The shooting took place around 5:40 p.m. at a Chevron gas station on Grand and Fairhaven avenues. Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said the confrontation stemmed from a bulletin officers had sent out a day earlier searching for the robbery suspect.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, police had released to the public surveillance photos and videos showing a man robbing several businesses at gunpoint, including a bakery and income tax and cell phone stores. The robberies took place between April 19 and Sept. 1 of this year.

“After that, we started getting tips from the community … (and) detectives were able to identify the suspect,” Bertagna said.

A man robbed the Metro PCS store in the 1600 block of 1st Street in Santa Ana on July 17. Santa Ana Police believe the man may have hit six other local businesses. (Photo courtesy of Santa Ana Police Department)

Gang detectives tracked down the man to a motel and saw him leave in a car.

They followed the car to the gas station, where one of the men inside the car ran and was confronted by the officer before the shooting.

The second person in the car was identified as the suspect’s twin brother. He was arrested without incident.

The men were identified as 48-year-old Timothy and Thomas Espinosa.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Bertagna said. “We’ve got to see if one or both of them were involved (in the robberies).”

It is immediately unknown which of the brothers was hit.

A female was also arrested at the motel after a search warrant was executed and narcotics were found.

Bertagna said the man was hit in the lower torso, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

No officers were injured in the incident.


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