UPDATE, MAY 16, 1:28 P.M.: The Fullerton Police Department's booking photo for Diego Alejandro Figueroa has been released. The 22-year-old was one of two suspected gang members in a stolen pickup that led police on a high-speed chase and crashed before Figueroa's partner, according to cops, opened fire on officers and was taken out. Permanently. After treatment for injuries suffered in the crash, Figueroa was charged with attempted murder on a police officer and other serious felony counts and sentencing enhancements.
There is one thing worth noting about his booking photo:
Kelly Thomas' picture from his hospital bed was much worse.
UPDATE, MAY 15, 4:34 P.M.: The survivor of a crash that followed a high-speed chase--and preceded an exchange of gunfire with Fullerton Police and the death of a 22-year-old Buena Park man--has been charged with attempted murder on a police officer and other serious felony counts. Diego Alejandro Figueroa, also 22, is being held on $2 million bail and is subject to a no-bail probation violation hold pending his scheduled arraignment today on counts that could send him to state prison for 80 years to life with a conviction.
An earlier Fullerton Police statement on the police shooting death of Aurelio Paul Ramos-Navarette, which the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) is investigating, gave Figueroa's city of residence as Smithfield, Utah. An OCDA statement on Figueroa's arraignment gives Buena Park as his town.
The OCDA statement also does not mention the first Orange County murder of 2010, which Fullerton Police had said they suspect Figueroa of having participated in.
Figueroa was charged today with one felony count of attempted murder on a police officer, one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, one felony count of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, one felony count of shooting an inhabited dwelling from a vehicle, one felony count of evading a police officer while driving recklessly, one felony count of possession of a firearm, and one felony count of active participation in a criminal street gang.
He also faces sentencing enhancements for committing crimes for the benefit of a criminal street gang and the vicarious use of a firearm.
The OCDA says the case is still being investigated, and anyone with information is asked to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Ron Seman at 714.347.8544.
UPDATE, MAY 14, 1:14 P.M.: The man shot to death by Fullerton Police Thursday night has been identified as Aurelio Paul Ramos-Navarette, a Buena Park 22-year-old claimed to be a documented gang member.
The Dodge Ram pickup truck that Ramos-Navarette had been riding in with Diego Figueroa before it rolled into a drainage channel was stolen out of Buena Park, police added.
A high-speed chase had preceded the truck landing on its roof in the cement channel, which was followed by Ramos-Navarette getting out of the vehicle, running into a tunnel, reemerging and firing at officers and returning fire, according to police. As is routine, the district attorney's office is investigating the shooting.
A man by the same name as Ramos-Navarette has numerous relatively minor infractions on his record, but he also pleaded guilty in 2010 to felony unlawful taking of a vehicle and street terrorism and was sentenced to two years in state prison, three years probation, 270 days in jail and ordered to pay restitution, the Orange County Register reports.
Figuerora, 22, of Smithfield, Utah, also has a record of minor infractions, but he has also been linked to the 2010 murder of 17-year-old Jesse Rodriguez in Fullerton on July 29, 2010:
UPDATE, MAY 11, 1:53 P.M.: The gunman shot to death by cops in Fullerton last night has not yet been identified, but his comrade held in the city jail on suspicion of felony auto theft has: Diego Figueroa, 22, of Smithfield, Utah.
ORIGINAL POST, MAY 11, 9:30 A.M.: Fullerton Police killed a dude last night, but this incident won't spark the moral outrage of the Kelly Thomas case. A high-speed chase that followed an attempted stop for a minor traffic violation around 11:15 p.m. Thursday ended with a stolen maroon Dodge Ram pickup truck rolling out of control near Malvern Avenue and Gilbert Street, crashing through a fence and landing on its roof in a drainage channel. A man popped out, ran for cover in a tunnel, reemerged and fired at officers with a handgun. Bad move.
Officers returned fire, and the man was killed. The Orange County District Attorney's office is investigating, which is routine for police shootings.
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Meanwhile, a second 22-year-old man, a suspected gang member like his dead comrade, had been in the truck. He was treated for injuries at a hospital and is expected to be arrested on suspicion of auto theft.
That's the least of his worries. He's also suspected of being involved in the drive-by shooting death of 17-year-old Jesse Rodriguez in Fullerton on July 29, 2010: