Update: Off-duty Irvine officer helps lead to arrest of 16-year-old on suspicion of Anaheim gang shooting

ANAHEIM – After two hours of searching for an armed gang suspect, police arrested a 16-year-old probationer on suspicion of a Wednesday morning shooting that nearly struck two men.

An off-duty Irvine police officer was jogging around 10:40 a.m. when he said he saw a suspected gang shooting on South Rio Vista Street, near East Hempstead Road, police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.

The suspect, later identified as a 16-year-old probationer, ran into the Mariposa Apartment complex, at 225 S. Rio Vista, where he lives, police said.

An Anaheim police helicopter began searching the apartment complex and surrounding streets.

“This is the Anaheim Police Department,” officers said from the helicopter’s speaker system. “We are looking for an armed suspect. Stay inside your apartments.”

Police said they received information that two men inside an apartment said someone shot at them. Officials detained both of them around 12:15 p.m. as they continued to search for the shooter.

The 16-year-old was found around the same time in a different apartment and was ultimately arrested on suspicion of the shooting, Wyatt said. His name was not immediately released.

He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and booked into Orange County Juvenile Hall.

Rio Vista Elementary School was put on lock down during the search, but was reopened around 12:40 p.m.

Alfredo Lopez said he was working on the roof of a nearby shopping center when he heard the gunshots.

“I heard four, but they sounded kind of like they went up into the air and didn’t hit anything,” Lopez said.

He heard a shooting in Santa Ana, near his home, last week. It was an officer-involved shooting when two burglary suspects were shot and killed in the 400 block of Eastwood Avenue.

“They hit someone in that shooting and it sounded different,” Lopez said. “This one sounded like the shots just went up in the air.”

Nina Silva was heading home with a young daughter who just finished a ballet performance when she was greeted by a swarm of police officers who refused to let her inside the apartment complex.

“I can’t get into my apartment, so I don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said around 12:30 p.m.

Silva also said she was not surprised by the police activity because of the amount of crime in the neighborhood, recalling a recent shooting on Lincoln Avenue.

In 2009, Heather Courtney Sorensen, 31, and Stephen Rene Serna, 35, were shot and killed inside the Mariposa apartment complex following a domestic dispute.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7802 or aduranty@ocregister.com

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