Carlos Michael Rodriguez Faces 42 Years; More Details on Fatal Police Shootings

Of the three people shot in Santa Ana officer involved shootings the past two days, Carlos Michael Rodriguez is the only still living.
Of the three people shot in Santa Ana officer involved shootings the past two days, Carlos Michael Rodriguez is the only still living.
Santa Ana Police Department (inset)

UPDATE, FEB. 19, 5:04 P.M.: With a conviction of the charges pressed against Carlos Michael Rodriguez today, he could be sentenced to 42 years to life in state prison, according to the district attorney's office. The 30-year-old Santa Ana resident, who remains hospitalized from injuries suffered during a shootout with police, was charged with one felony count of attempted murder of a peace officer, one felony count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm on a peace officer, one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon, and two felony counts of possession for sale of a controlled substance, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm. Rodriguez also has prison priors including a 2005 conviction for the unlawful taking of a vehicle, a 2006 conviction for possession of a controlled substance and violation of a protective order, and a 2008 strike conviction for assault with a semiautomatic rifle on a peace officer and resisting an executive officer, according to prosecutors. Currently being held on $1 million bail, Rodriguez is scheduled to be arraigned Monday pending a hospital discharge.

Meanwhile, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna has disclosed officers were responding to a burglary in progress at a business Thursday when they confronted four people, some type of struggle ensued and two of the suspects were shot dead. The names of the deceased were withheld pending family notification. Bertagna did not know the names of the two surviving suspects who were questioned by police. A gun from one suspect was recovered. "We're seeing more guns," Bertagna told reporters at the scene. "We're seeing more robberies. We're seeing more gangsters carrying guns and not afraid of using them." Added Police Chief Carlos Rojas, "We're seeing a lot of gang activity, a lot of shootings. There have been 50 shootings in Santa Ana so far this year."

ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 19, 6:05 A.M.: Two Santa Ana police-involved shootings within two days and three miles of each other this week involved three suspects.

Only one is still living today.

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One officer was injured in first incident, none were hurt in the second.

The first shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, when a detective approached Carlos Michael Rodriguez during a "proactive enforcement" in the 2700 block of West McFadden Avenue, which has been ground zero for a rash of gang violence lately.

Rodriguez allegedly opened fire on the detective, grazing his head, and the detective returned fire, hitting the 30-year-old Santa Ana resident in the chest, according to police, who add two guns were recovered at the scene.

The detective went to a hospital, was treated and then went home to recover. 

Rodriguez remains under guard in a hospital bed. He has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on a police officer, possession of a gun in a school zone, possession of a gun by a gang member and possessing a concealed gun.

Cops described Rodriguez as a documented gang member who was paroled Sept. 27 after serving eight years in prison for assault with a gun. It's unclear whether the detective knew about Rodriguez's criminal past.

It's also unclear whether the first shooting was related to the second, which happened around 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the 1100 block of East Fourth Street.

Police have not yet revealed what led up to the officer-involved shooting that left two unidentified suspects dead. Two other people were taken into custody

Per protocol, the Orange County District Attorney's Office investigates officer-involved shootings.


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