[UPDATED:] Alejandro David Sanchez, OC Homicide No. 50: Gunned Down in Bakery

Frankie Giraldo
Update, December 9, 3:36 p.m.

: A second man has been arrested in the murder of a Santa Ana man who was pouring himself a coffee in a local bakery.

After Santa Ana police detectives served a search warrant of a residence in the 1500 block of South Diamond Street in Santa Ana Wednesday morning, 28-year-old Frankie Giraldo was arrested on suspicion of murder. He also was booked for being a felon in possession of ammunition and high-capacity magazines.

Denisse Salazar gets the scoop for the Orange County Register.

An earlier Orange County District Attorney's Office statement (on the next page) identified only one alleged shooter: Israel Pena Lopez, 35, of Santa Ana. He was accused of firing several shots into the back of 22-year-old Santa Anan Alejandro David Sanchez before about a dozen customers and workers inside Panaderia La Chapina, 2230 W. Edinger Ave., Santa Ana, around 7:40 p.m. Oct. 13.

Police now tell Salazar that Giraldo and Lopez walked into the bakery through different doors and shot Sanchez. Lopez also left the restaurant briefly, returned and allegedly tried to shoot Sanchez again as he was dying on the floor, but Lopez's gun would not discharge, according to police, who claim to have store surveillance video of the murder.

A police spokesman reportedly told the Reg reporter the motive for the shooting was drug related.

Update, November 29, 5:38 p.m.: To hear prosecutors tell it, Israel Pena Lopez was a very busy boy over two days in October. A day after allegedly killing a man pouring himself a cup of coffee in a restaurant, the 35-year-old Santa Ana resident is accused of trying to kill someone else before being apprehended by police . . .

. . . but not before Lopez apparently stepped on a lady's leg.

Lopez allegedly shot Alejandro David Sanchez, 22, of Santa Ana, in the back, murdering him inside Panaderia La Chapina on Edinger Avenue the evening of Oct. 13, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA).

After first fleeing the restaurant, Lopez is accused of returning and trying to shoot Sanchez again as he was lying on the floor. However, the gunman's firearm malfunctioned.

Lopez is further accused of yelling out the name of a street gang and firing a gun at someone in the area of Saint Andrew Place and Rene Street in Santa Ana on Oct. 14. He darted off, but neighbors called 9-1-1 and, after stepping on a woman's leg while running across her front yard, Lopez was captured in a nearby backyard by Santa Ana Police, who claim the suspect had a gun and heroin on him.

Lopez, who is to be arraigned Wednesday morning, could get life in prison if convicted of the charges against him, according to the OCDA statement on the next page.

Update, October 18, 2:10 p.m.:

Courtesy of SAPD
Alejandro David Sanchez

Two men walked into Panaderia La Chapina, 2230 W. Edinger Ave., Santa Ana, around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, passed others inside the bakery and zeroed in on Alejandro David Sanchez, who was making himself a coffee.

A confrontation ensued before one man whipped out a gun and fired several shots into the 32-year-old's upper body. The pair then slipped out the door and into the night.

Santa Ana Police say the pair knew who their intended target was and that this was a "drug-related homicide." None of the dozen other people inside the bakery were harmed during the shooting.

Sanchez was a parolee at large since 2008, according to police.

His killers remain at large, and no descriptions of them have been provided.

"He was supportive and a very loving person and didn't deserve this at all," Marissa Sanchez, the dead man's niece, told the Orange County Register, adding, "no one does."

View Larger Map

November 29, 2010

*Defendant is also charged in a separate attempted murder case that occurred one day after the murder

SANTA ANA - A man has been charged with murdering a victim in a Santa Ana restaurant by shooting him repeatedly in the back while the victim was pouring a cup of coffee. Israel Pena Lopez, 35, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count each of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. He has a 2004 prior strike conviction for participation in a criminal street gang. If convicted in this case, Lopez faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. The People will be requesting $1 million bail at Lopez's arraignment Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

At approximately 7:40 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2010, Lopez is accused of walking into Panaderia La Chapina restaurant on Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana armed with a firearm. He is accused of shooting 22-year-old Alejandro Sanchez several times in the back, murdering him. Sanchez had his back turned and was pouring coffee at a counter at the time of the murder.

Lopez is accused of leaving the restaurant and then returning a few moments later. He is accused of again attempting to shoot the victim, who was lying on the floor, but Lopez's firearm failed to discharge. He is accused of fleeing the scene. Witnesses called 911 and the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) began investigating the case.

Attempted Murder Case (Case # 10CF2860)
On Oct. 14, 2010, one day after the murder of Sanchez, Lopez is accused of being outside in the area of Saint Andrew Place and Rene Street in Santa Ana. He is accused of yelling out the name of his Hispanic criminal street gang and shooting a firearm multiple times at an unknown victim, who was not hit. Lopez is accused of then running away through a neighborhood as witnesses called 911.

As the defendant attempted to flee, he is accused of stepping on the leg of victim Jane Doe while running through her yard. He was located and arrested in a nearby backyard by SAPD. At the time of his arrest, Lopez is accused of being in possession of heroin and a firearm.

For this case, Lopez was charged Oct. 18, 2010, with one felony count each of attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession for sale of a controlled substance, and street terrorism with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity and the personal discharge of a firearm. He is also charged in the case with his 2004 prior strike conviction. If convicted of these charges, Lopez faces a maximum sentence of 47 years and six months to life in state prison. He is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Dec. 10, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Deputy District Attorney Keith Bogardus of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting the murder case. Deputy District Attorney Elisabeth McKinley of the TARGET Unit is prosecuting the attempted murder case.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >