SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — A 48-year-old man wanted in connection with a series of eight robberies was wounded Thursday in an officer-involved shooting in Santa Ana, where his twin brother was also arrested.
No officers were injured in the shooting, which was reported about 5:30 p.m. outside a Chevron station in the area of Grand and Fairhaven avenues, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
The suspect, police said, is a violent serial burglar who has terrorized the city for months.
Officials said the incident began with a tip from a news viewer who recognized the suspect. The viewer saw the suspect — and his identical twin — in a parking lot. They followed the suspect.
Officers made contact with the brothers — Timothy and Thomas Espinoza — at a Chevron station. One brother — Thomas — reportedly gave himself up. Timothy took off running. After a brief chase, he was shot. It was unclear if he was also armed.
Timothy — the slightly thinner twin — was struck in the lower body, was hospitalized in stable condition, Bertagna said.
One or both of the brothers were involved in at least eight armed burglaries over a six-month period, officials said. In several of the robberies, the suspect pistol-whipped women and put people in choke holds.
Police are thrilled to have the suspects — both ex cons — in custody. And so are neighbors.
“It’s a little scary,” said Nicole Terry, “since we come to this Chevron quite often. We live right here, so stopping here it’s a little frightening for me and my son sine violence is happening right down the street.”
Santa Ana insurance agent Dalila Garcia told CBS2’s Michele Gile she was also thrilled the men were in custody .
“Oh my God,” she said, “I’m so happy. Because I live in the area.”
She also works next door to the Metro PCS store, one of the places that the suspect’s hit.
Orange County Sheriff’s deputies have taken over the investigation into the shooting.
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