Off-Duty Officer Shoots Two Outside Angel Stadium

Two brothers shot by an off-duty police officer at Angel Stadium were arrested today on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

Carlos Velasquez, 25, a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, and his brother, Jose Velasquez, 22, were shot about a half-hour after the game ended at 10:20 last night, police said.

The older brother was wounded in the chin and was in critical condition in a hospital. The younger brother was shot in the arm and was also hospitalized, but in good condition.

About a half hour after the game between the Angels and the Colorado Rockies, which ended at 10:20 p.m., the off-duty Anaheim Police officer called his department to say that two men were attempting to break into his car and had choked him in front of his wife and two young children, said Sgt. Rick Martinez, the public information officer with the Anaheim Police Department.

The officer told his department he had identified himself as an off-duty police officer to the men before the shooting, but they "didn't back off," said Martinez.

One man was shot in the chin area and his injuries are considered life-threatening, said Martinez, adding the other man was shot in the upper arm. He was listed in serious but stable condition.

Both shooting victims were hospitalized at UCI Medical Center in the City of Orange.

The officer was also transported to a hospital in serious condition from being struck in the head with the bottles. The officer was released from the hospital early this morning, according to Martinez.

A woman identifying herself as Sandy Bustamante, says her brother-in-law and his brother were the two men in question.  She says the officer gave an obscene gesture towards the men, which lead to the confrontation.

"He started it when he gave him the middle finger," Bustamante said, "which upset him and my sister."  Bustamante says her brother-in-law, the suspect shot in the chin, is a U.S. Marine and although their vehicle was littered with booze, she denies anyone was drinking.

"I don't know how those bottles got in there," she said.

The Orange County District Attorney's office shooting team, and high-ranking command officers for the Anaheim police department went to the scene to investigate the shooting; Martinez says that's standard procedure for Anaheim PD.

"I thougth it was fireworks because it's so close to the Fourth of July," said Shane Ballard. "All we saw was cop cars. We came over here and saw a male lying on the ground."

Ballard and Rachel Cordova were among the startled and confused fans in the parking lot.

"We heard three shots and turned around and I thought, 'Those are guns shots,'" Cordova told KNX radio. "One of the guys I was with said 'No, it's not,' but then we heard sirens.'"

Cordova said she then walked toward the scene.

"I left there and saw a young, maybe 20-year-old male laying on the ground without his shirt, and they were attending to him," she said.

Bustamante says the officer should be reprimanded and has a stern message for him: "He's going to pay for it.  He had no right to shoot anybody or even have a gun."

The shooting was one of three major violent incidents at Southern California ballparks this season. A man died two days after getting into a fight on opening day at Angel Stadium in April, and another man was stabbed multiple times at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles after that team's home opener but survived.

The Anaheim Police Department was asking for witnesses to call 714-765-1944.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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