Dustin Sean Ross McDonald Met Trio for Possible Drug Deal Before Shooting Them: DA

See Update No. 3 on Page 2 with OCDA filing charges and alleging the players in the triple shooting may have met up for a drug transaction. Update No. 2 is on the murder arrest. Update No. 1 identifies the fatal shooting victim.

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 13, 9:07 A.M.: A man in his 20s from Anaheim was killed and two women were injured late Tuesday when another man came up to a parked car they were sitting in and fired 10 to 12 shots at them, according to Santa Ana Police.


The shooting is believed to have happened on West East 12th Street just before 11:30 p.m., after which the red sedan the victims were in was driven by one of the women a short distance to North Main Street, which is where first responders found them.

The unidentified male passenger was killed, but the two women were taken to Western Medical Center in stable condition last night, according to Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the department spokesman.

The condition of the women–a 21-year-old from Santa Ana and a 26-year-old from Anaheim–was downgraded to critical this morning.

There was no description available of the man who shot them; after the shooting, he ran to a white SUV that had been parked behind the sedan when it was on 12th Street and drove the SUV away from the scene, said Bertagna, who believed the gunman was the lone occupant.

The shooting was not believed to be gang-related.

UPDATE NO. 1, AUG. 13, 1:27 P.M.: The man who was pronounced dead at the scene of last night's triple shooting in Santa Ana has been identified as 23-year-old Aaron Jonathan Chavez. Police gave as his resident city “Santa Ana/Anaheim.”

Police also clarified the shooting location as 1200 North Main Street, making that the crossing with EAST 12th Street, not West 12th. That's near a mortuary on one side of Main and the Orange County Birth and Death Registration office on the other side.

The 21-year-old woman who was in the driver's seat of the sedan and the 26-year-old woman in a rear passenger seat sustained “multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso,” according to a Santa Ana Police update that adds: “Investigation is ongoing and details will be released as they become available.”

Anyone with information that can help Santa Ana homicide detectives is asked to call them at 714.245.8390. Anonymous tips may be left with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1.855.TIP.OCCS.


UPDATE NO. 2, AUG. 14, 1:04 P.M.: Santa Ana Police are providing few details at this hour other than Dustin Sean Ross McDonald of Garden Grove has been arrested for the triple shooting that left fellow 23-year-old Aaron Jonathan Chavez dead.

Santa Ana detectives, who'd previously revealed they'd looked at surveillance video near the shooting scene, stopped McDonald's car near his residence last evening and arrested him, according to a police advisory.

McDonald was arrested on suspicion of murder, two counts of attempted murder and weapons and special circumstances enhancements. It's up to the Orange County District Attorney's office to determine what the actual charges will be.

UPDATE NO. 3, AUG. 15, 12:43 P.M.: The players in the triple shooting that left a 23-year-old man dead met in Santa Ana for a possible drug transaction, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) statement on the charges against Dustin Sean Ross McDonald, also 23.

“At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 12, 2014, McDonald is accused of arranging to meet with the victims for a possible drug transaction,” reads the statement. “The defendant is accused of driving up and stopping alongside the victims' vehicle, which was parked in the area of 12th and Main Street in Santa Ana. McDonald is accused of then stepping out of his vehicle, walking around to the front passenger side of the victims' vehicle while armed with a firearm, and firing approximately seven to 10 gunshots. He is accused of murdering the front passenger, Aaron Chavez, 23, and wounding both the 21-year-old female driver of the vehicle and the 28-year-old female passenger.”

The woman are expected to survive their injuries, according to Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the department spokesman.

Chavez and McDonald, who police believed acted alone, were previously acquainted, Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke told City News Service.

McDonald is to be arraigned in the Central Jail in Santa Ana today on one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait and two felony counts of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, according to the OCDA statement, which adds the Garden Grove resident also faces sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death or great bodily injury.

If convicted of those charges, he could get life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

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

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