SANTA ANA, Calif. – Two people have been arrested in Santa Ana, California, after a young mother was allegedly killed by a stray bullet, police say.
On Dec. 4 just before 4:30 p.m., Santa Ana Police Department dispatch was contacted about a shooting with a woman down at 1400 South Cypress Street, according to a news release. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a woman in a parking lot near 1473 South Main Street with a gunshot wound to her upper torso. SAPD said Orange County Fire Authority treated the woman and took her to the hospital in critical condition.
Days later on Dec. 9, SAPD said the woman, Maria Del Refugio Mora, 36, died from her injuries at the hospital.
Surveillance video of the incident reportedly showed subjects in a white sedan pull up and shoot at two juvenile boys who ran into the parking lot as they were getting shot at, according to KTLA. The juvenile boys were not injured, but Mora, an innocent bystander, was shot.
According to KTLA, Mora was a wife and a mother of three children. She was reportedly in the area to meet up with her husband and their 3-year-old son who were leaving dinner at a pizzeria. Police told KTLA they had stopped to eat before going to Mass.
SAPD said investigators with the homicide unit conducted interviews and viewed surveillance video and investigative resources that led to the vehicle, which was a white Toyota Camry, and that led to the identifications of two suspects — Mark Remmers, 19, and Brooke De La Cruz, 24.
Both Remmers and De La Cruz were taken into custody on Dec. 15, SAPD said.
“It is through the collaborative efforts of our Homicide Unit, Major Enforcement Team, VICE Unit, and Career Criminal Unit that these two arrests were possible. The collateral killing of an innocent bystander, a mother of three, by a gang-related shooting should never happen in our communities, especially during the holiday season. Our deepest condolences go out to the victim’s family, particularly to her three children, who will have to spend this and every other holiday without a mother,” said Chief David Valentin. “As a Department, we will continue our proactive efforts to address gang violence and allocate additional resources to field operations to strengthen our enforcement efforts further.” said Chief David Valentin in the news release.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information has been released.
Anyone with information is asked to call SAPD Homicide Section Detectives at 714-245-8290 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-847-6227.