Anaheim Police say increased tensions between rival gangs near the site where 14-year-old John Perez was shot to death Tuesday night–the 200 block of East Vermont Avenue–led to an officer-involved shooting and the arrest of two men and a juvenile.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
Facing the most serious charges is Pedro “Peter” Lara, 22, of Anaheim, who was arrested on suspicion of street terrorism, narcotics possession and possession of a loaded firearm.
John Perez, OC Homicide No. 40: 14 y.o. Gang Murder Victim?
Angel “Minor” Rivera, OC Homicide No. 19: Gang Shooting Pinned on George Angel Galvin and Ismael Avalos
Ramon Magana and Edwin Alarrazabal, OC Homicide Nos. 36 and 37: Gang Gunfire Suspected
Due to large numbers of people congregating near the murder site and the bad mojo in the air, the Anaheim Police Department (APD) has increased patrols of the area, according to department spokesman Sgt. Robert Dunn. Around 11:30 Wednesday night, several area residents called “to report several gang members congregating in the east alley of the 800 block of South Philadelphia Street,” Dunn said.
That's about a block from where Perez, a documented gang member, according to cops, was shot multiple times and left for dead. There have been no arrests or suspects named in the slaying.
As officers rolled up on South Philadelphia Street, a male was seen running away, west from the alley and through the courtyard of an apartment complex, Dunn said. The runner was met by other officers already in the courtyard, and when he made “a furtive and deliberate movement to his waistband,” one officer fired one round from his service weapon, Dunn said.
According to the police account, the running man retrieved a handgun from his waistband and threw it onto a nearby roof and then gave up without further incident. Dunn adds, “We recovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun from the nearby rooftop.”
No one, including the suspect identified as gang member Lara, was struck by the officer's round. Two other males were arrested near where the people had been congregating: Michael Roger Palacios, 18, Anaheim, on suspicion of providing false information to officers and being a parolee at large, and a 17-year-old, documented gang member on suspicion of violating his probation.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.