Anastacio Castaneda Rios Released from Custody in Shooting Murder at El Zocalo

UPDATE NO. 2, MARCH 5, 5:03 P.M.: Anastacio Castaneda Rios, who is one of the two Santa Ana men who were arrested for the murder of a Los Angeles man at El Zocalo restaurant early Tuesday, has been released from custody.


Orange County prosecutors have asked detectives to do more research before the filing of charges is considered, according to Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the department spokesman. The 45-year-old Rios, who was treated at and released from a hospital for a bullet wound after the shooting, was let out of jail on Wednesday. Viyey Castaneda, who was also booked on suspicion of murdering 32-year-old Jose De Jesus Mendoza Maria, remains hospitalized from a head injury he suffered when a restaurant security guard wielding a fire extinguisher disarmed him.

UPDATE NO. 1, MARCH 4, 12:14 P.M.: Two Santa Ana men have been arrested for the murder of a Los Angeles man at El Zocalo restaurant early Tuesday. Santa Ana Police accuse Viyey Castaneda, 29, and Anastacio Castaneda Rios, 45, of the shooting that left three people with bullet wounds, including 32-year-old Jose De Jesus Mendoza Maria, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Detectives believe a verbal and physical altercation between two separate groups of people started in the men's restroom,” reads a Santa Ana Police statement that indicates booking photos of the suspects are not yet being released. “Sometime during that altercation at least one suspect fired multiple rounds from a handgun. Three people were stuck by bullets, one of the victims succumbed to his injuries at the scene; the others were transported to a local trauma center and treated for their injuries.”

The statement goes on to allege that one suspect attempted to flee the restaurant with a handgun but was apprehended by security officers and patrons. That must be Viyey Castaneda because the statement indicates he received injuries during the apprehension that required hospitalization and that he remains hospitalized. Both he and Anastacio Castaneda Rios were arrested on suspicion of murder.

Detectives are looking for another firearm that may have been used during the fight and request anyone with information call them at 714.245.8390 or Orange County Crime Stoppers, even anonymously, at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS), via or by texting to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) from a cell phone. (All text messages should begin with the letters “OCCS”.)

ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 2, 9:12 A.M.: An altercation at El Zocalo Mexican Grill and Seafood in Santa Ana early today led to a shooting that left one dead and four injured, according to police.

The fight broke out in the bar area of the restaurant at 301 North Tustin Ave. near East Fourth Street around 12:45 a.m., according to Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the department spokesman. A Yelp page indicates El Zocalo is open Sundays until 2 a.m. (which is actually early Monday).

A man who was fatally wounded died at the scene, and two others were wounded by gunfire, said Bertagna, who added that two other people were injured when patrons and security guards took them into custody.

Two were taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana and two were taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange. Of the four, two are suspects in the shooting.

KTLA Channel 5 news just aired an interview with an El Zocalo security guard who said he took the gun away from the gunman and received cuts to his hands. When the reporter suggested the guard–whose face and name were not shown on screen–was a hero, he replied, “I'm not a hero. Someone died in there. If i was a hero no one would have died. … That guy wanted to kill me.”

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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