[UPDATED with Story Flips, Self Defense Claimed:] Michael Estrada,
OC Homicide No. 42: Bus Stop Street Fight Ends Fatally
See the update at the end of this post with Santa Ana police changing the crime account reflected in the original post and the case from murder to killing in self-defense.
ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 22, 2:21 P.M.: A 20-year-old man who died after a street fight and stabbing near a South Main Street bus stop Friday evening has been identified as Michael Estrada. Estrada and another man from out of the county were sitting at the bus stop in the 1300 block of South Main around 5:15 p.m. Friday when a Jeep Cherokee with a driver and passengers in their 20s pulled into an adjacent repair shop parking lot, according to police.
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The occupants got out of the Cherokee and a verbal argument and street fight broke out with Estrada and his friend, both of whom were stabbed and later rushed to a local hospital, where Estrada died. His friend was critically injured but is expected to survive, police say.
Passing officers later saw two men walking away from the repair shop. Stopped and questioned for being the pair who had been in the Cherokee, they were later released without charges being filed.
Police say the men are documented gang members in Orange County. It was unclear whether Estrada and his friend had gang ties.
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Plenty of people should have seen the altercation during the height of the evening rush hour. If you can help investigators, call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227.
UPDATE, OCT. 23, 11:01 A.M.: The Santa Ana Police Department now says Estrada was not sitting with the other man at a bus stop, as originally reported, but was one of the two men in the Jeep Cherokee. Therefore, it was Estrada and the other man who started the street fight that resulted in both being stabbed. Estrada's partner is expected to survive his injuries.
The Orange County District Attorney's office has declined to file charges against the unidentified man at the bus stop with a knife, determining in light of the available evidence that he acted in self defense, according to police, who are still investigating.
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