See the update at the end of this post on Steven Joseph Bruno waiving his right to an extradition hearing in Colorado and now being headed back to OC to face murder charges.
ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 4, 9:08 A.M.: A businessman whose company provided embroidered golf tournament shirts and specialty products was living the good life in “America's Safest City” before his son allegedly put a hole in one Ernest Joseph Bruno.
Actually, holes, as the 60-year-old who is now Irvine's second homicide victim of the year was shot multiple times, according to police. Steven Joseph Bruno, 21, was arrested for the fatal shooting after he was pulled over in his father's 2006 silver GMC
Envoy Denali on 1-76 near Sterling, Colorado, Friday
Bruno family members called Irvine Police around 1:30 p.m. Friday after a large amount of blood was found in their home at 17 Dartmouth, which is near UC Irvine, according to a statement from the agency.
A police search turned up the body of Ernie Bruno in a room, where he appeared to have been shot multiple times.
Detectives quickly honed in on his son Steven as a suspect, as the two had reportedly been living together and recently argued over money, according to police.
It was also quickly pieced together that Steven had likely fled the state in his father's vehicle, which produced an all-points bulletin that was broadcast wide. The GMC was stopped heading east on 1-76 in Logan County, Colorado, around 5:30 p.m., and Steven Bruno was taken
into custody without incident.
Irvine Police later confirmed for the Weekly that Ernie Bruno owned EJB Wholesale at 3941 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana. According to various websites, EJB specializes in golf tournament t-shirts, embroidery, silk-screening, golf shoes, trophies, hats and polo shirts.
UPDATED, SEPT. 4, 4:39 P.M.: According to a statement sent this afternoon by the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) Steven Bruno waived his right to an extradition hearing in Colorado and is now headed back to Orange County.
The 21-year-old will now face one felony count of murder with a sentencing
enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death, and if
convicted could get 50 years to life in state
prison, according to the OCDA, which will request Bruno be held without bail.
The statement pinpoints the shooting to around 9 p.m. Thursday, confirms it stemmed from a dispute about money and mentions the son allegedly locked his father's body in a bedroom before fleeing in Dad's car. Police, responding to a family member's 1:30 p.m. Friday call about a large pool of blood inside the home, found the elder Bruno in the locked bedroom.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy is prosecuting this case, while the Irvine Police investigation continues.
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.