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Restaurant Shooting Victim, 35, Dies After Being Taken Off Life Support

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SANTA ANA (CBS)  — The man who was shot in a fight in Santa Ana over which Mexican state is best died Wednesday when he was removed from life-support machines.

Esteban Navarrete, who was 35, was declared brain dead Tuesday night and was being kept alive on machines at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

The machines were removed at the request of his family.

Navarrete was shot in the head about 10 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Mariscos La Ola at 1714 E. McFadden Ave., he said.

Navarrette, his wife, and two relatives were in restaurant Sunday evening when an argument broke out between two groups over which state in Mexico was better, Bertagna said.

Navarrete, his wife and relatives decided to leave, and he was attacked and shot in the parking lot.

Three men and a woman who fled in a gray sport utility vehicle returned just as Navarrete, his wife and two relatives were getting into their car to leave, Bertagna said.

“The suspects returned in their SUV, and one of them gets out and for unknown reasons fires rounds at the victim,” Bertagna said.

“We’re going public with the (restaurant surveillance) video in the hopes of identifying all four of the suspects,” Bertagna said. “We’re kind of at a crossroads here, but it’s good video and we’re hoping it gets us over the hump.”

Navarrete was an employee at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange for more than 15 years, Bertagna said, adding that he was a “good family man.”

 (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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