SANTA ANA (CBS) — Police are hoping the release of surveillance video showing two groups of men fighting over which Mexican state is best will help them identify the shooter of an innocent man.
KNX 1070′s Mike Landa reports the video captures a group of customers in a west McFadden restaurant having a heated argument that ultimately turned fatal.
Esteban Navarrete, 35, of Santa Ana was declared brain dead and removed from life support Tuesday night, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Surveillance photo taken from surveillance video of the suspects in the shooting of Esteban Navarette on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 at a restaurant in the 1700 block of East McFadden in Santa Ana.
More than 40 family members gathered at a hospital to say goodbye to a man police described as hard-working and was having dinner with his wife and two family friends moments before the shooting.
“This is a family guy,” Bertagna said. “He worked at St. Joseph Hospital for 15 years. He is flat-out a victim, which is flat-out wrong.”
Navarrete and his party were eating at Mariscos La Ola in the 1700 block of East McFadden Avenue when two groups began arguing over which Mexican state is best, Bertagna said.
The video shows Navarrete peering back to see what was going on but he didn’t get involved, Bertagna said.
After the argument, some of the men walked out to the parking lot and got into a fistfight. Navarrete stayed in the restaurant with his wife and friends.
Navarrete and his party decided to leave before things escalated, but as Navarrete got into his car, two men approached him and one with a handgun aimed and fired several shots, police said.
Navarrete was struck in the head. His wife and friends were not injured.
The attackers ran to a waiting vehicle, described as a dark, possibly gray, SUV and drove away.
Police are trying to identify three men and a woman from the video.
They are believed to be in their early 20s. One man was wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, another was wearing a blue baseball cap and a third man was wearing a white T-shirt. The woman was wearing dark clothing.
Anyone who witnessed the shooting or may have information about the case was urged to call homicide detectives at 714-245-8390.
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