Victor Manuel Sanchez Charged with Murder in Cop Chase That Killed Gamer Engineer: Update
See the update at the end of this post on Victor Manuel Sanchez being arraigned today on charges of murder and other counts.
ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 3, 10:11 A.M.: The man killed in a crosswalk during a Santa Ana police chase last week has been described as a "genius" computer-gaming engineer. Some bystanders first believed the victim struck by a car Thursday was a local homeless man, but Andrew Scott Reisse, 33, has since been identified as the co-founder of Oculus VR, a Kickstarter-funded startup developing the Oculus Rift virtual-reality gaming headset.
Various computer sites have reported the immersive gaming accessory was a huge hit at several tech shows this year.
According to an Oculus statement, Reisse at age 19 helped to start the company Scaleform in Maryland, came to California for Gaikai in Aliso Viejo, and had recently moved to Santa Ana to be closer to Irvine-based Oculus, which he co-founded and where he served as lead engineer.
He was walking in the crosswalk at Macarthur Boulevard and Flower Street Thursday when he was either struck by a Dodge Charger carrying three suspects pursued by police or another vehicle the Charger had clipped. Police say it was the Charger, but a witness account here differs.
Reisse's Oculus Rift made its debut at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, at which it won a rave from PCMag's Will Greenwald, who called it the "best chance in decades" for integrating a true virtual-reality experience into personal computer gaming. A more polished version of the Rift turned up a few months later at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, where many attendees were said to have waited an hour or more for five minutes with the new technology, still in development.
Oculus VR has published a memorial tribute to Reisse on its blog.
Andrew was a brilliant computer graphics engineer, an avid photographer and hiker who loved nature, a true loyal friend, and a founding member of our close-knit Oculus family.
Some of us have known Andrew since college and have worked with him at multiple companies, beginning with Scaleform in Maryland, which he helped start at age 19, then at Gaikai in Aliso Viejo, which brought him out to California, and finally at Oculus, where he was a co-founder and lead engineer.
Andrew's contributions span far and wide in the video game industry. His code is embedded in thousands of games played by millions of people around the world.
Words cannot express how sorely he will be missed or how deeply our sympathy runs for his family.
Andrew will always be in our thoughts and will never be forgotten. We love you, Reisse.
UPDATE, JUNE 5, 2:43 P.M.: Victor Manuel Sanchez, 21, is scheduled to be arraigned at 3 p.m. on charges of murder and vehicular manslaughter stemming from the police pursuit in Santa Ana that led to a fatal officer-involved shooting and fatal injuries to pedestrian Andrew Scott Reisse, prosecutors announced.
Besides a felony count each of murder and vehicular manslaughter by unlawful manner of driving, Sanchez faces charges of driving with gross negligence, evading while driving recklessly and causing serious bodily injury and death, hit and run with injury, street terrorism, hit and run with property damage, and a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA).
The OCDA is also investigating the officer-involved shootings and will issue a report based on its findings in the future.
Two other men who were in Sanchez's car, 18-year-old Jesse Segura and 19-year- old Giovanni Bahena, were held on unspecified warrants and have not been charged in the case, according to Santa Ana police Sgt. Jose Gonzalez.
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