See the update at the end of this post with the name of the man police shot in the chest Sunday.
ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 22, 2:54 P.M.: The Anaheim neighborhood where 14-year-old John Perez was murdered in what police believe to be a gang shooting last week is growing increasingly sketchier. First, an officer fired his weapon, but hit no one, before two suspected gang members were arrested late Wednesday night for a variety of charges unrelated to the Perez shooting. Then, early Sunday morning, an Anaheim cop fired into the chest of a bicyclist in the same general area. “Hello, Century 21?”
Pedro “Peter” Lara and Michael Roger Palacios Held After Cop Shooting Near Anaheim Site Where 14 y.o. John Perez was Killed
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
The man on the bike, who police have not identified but claim is a documented gang member, was riding on South Philadelphia Street, about a half block from where Perez was shot, where the Anaheim officer, who was also not identified, tried to stop the rider for questioning.
But the bicyclist instead quickly changed direction and rode off, leading the a chase that had the officer catching up to the rider on East Narda Street, west of South Philadelphia, according to police, who add the rider was shot in the chest shortly thereafter.
Police say the man was taken to a local hospital where he was reported in critical condition but is expected to survive.
A handgun had been found near the cyclist, according to police.
Few details other than those were released, but police say the case has been handed over to the Orange County District Attorney's office, which routinely investigates officer-involved shootings.
UPDATE, OCT. 24, 8:55 A.M.: The cyclist shot Sunday by Anaheim Police has been identified as Pedro Mejia Jr., 20, of Anaheim. He's a janitor and documented gang member, according to police. He was treated for the single gunshot wound to the chest and then released to Orange County Jail, where he was held in lieu of $20,000 bail on weapons violations and street terrorism charges.
Naturally, the I.D. of the officer who shot Mejia has not been released.
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.