Man Shot by Officers at Santa Ana Gas Station; He and Twin Are Suspects in Series of Violent Robberies: Police

A pair of 48-year-old twins who officials believe are suspects in a crime series were followed by police to a gas station in Santa Ana, where one of them was shot by police.

Surveillance images released by Santa Ana police on Sept. 27, 2017, show a man wanted in a series of robberies in Santa Ana.

Surveillance images released by Santa Ana police on Sept. 27, 2017, show a man wanted in a series of robberies in Santa Ana.

Officers aren't yet sure whether the man shot in his lower torso at the Chevron station at the corner of Fairhaven and Grand avenues around 5:40 p.m. is Timothy Espinosa or his brother, Thomas, according to Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Police beleive both the men are suspects in a string of eight armed robberies at MetroPCS stores and small businesses across Santa Ana, the most recent of which occurred Wednesday.

Several of the incidents turned violent, with the masked man brandishing his gun at employees and even threateningly holding a female customer at gunpoint. At the time, investigators believed one individual was responsible.

After news stations covered the robberies Wednesday, Bertagna said police received a tip that led them to begin tailing the twins.

Officers traced the two to a motel in the Santa Ana area, where detectives began conducting surveillance. Once they saw the Espinosas leave the premises, they followed their car to the Chevron station, Bertagna said.

When police attempted to make contact with the twins, one of them ran behind the back of the building, where an officer shot him in the torso.

He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was in stable condition, according to Bertagna.

The other twin did not attempt to flee and was taken into custody without further incident.

Detectives also detained a woman at the motel for questioning, Bertagna said.

He added that narcotics and many items were recovered from the motel room, though he was not sure what those items consisted of.