[UPDATED with 3 Arrests:] Joseph Castro, 19, is Latest Fatality in Santa Ana Gang Wars

See the update at the end of this post about three Santa Ana gang members being arrested for the murder.

ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 15, 4:08 P.M.: A 19-year-old Santa Ana man was killed and his 18-year-old companion was left in serious but stable condition in a local hospital after a suspected gang-related shooting Thursday evening. Santa Ana police investigators believe Joseph Castro and the 18-year-old man were confronted by a group of people who got out of a dark-colored vehicle in an alley near the 1900 block of West Third Street, asked their gang affiliation and then showered them with gunfire.

Police were called just before 5:20 p.m. about shots fired in the area.

The survivor is being treated at Western Medical Center.

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Anyone with information that can help investigators is asked to call 714.245.8648.

UPDATE, FEB. 21, 9:22 P.M.: Three reputed Santa Ana gang members have been arrested for the murder of 19-year-old Joseph Castro and his 18-year-old friend. They are:

Julio Sanchez Jr., 19;

Vicente Vega, 19;

and Salomon Lopez, 32.

Santa Ana police believe the trio were in a vehicle heading east through the alley when they stopped near Castro and the other young man. The suspects are said to have gotten out, asked the pair their gang affiliation and then Lopez allegedly opened fire. But police do not have a weapon.

The Orange County Register reports Lopez has misdemeanor drug, DUI, battery, assault, vandalism, false imprisonment and conspiracy charges in
his past, that Sanchez is a fugitive who pleaded guilty to felony car theft and was charged last year with possession of burglary tools and drug paraphernalia and that Vega has pleaded guilty to driving without a valid license.

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