Two of three men injured in a shooting at a high-rise apartment in Santa Ana on Wednesday have been arrested for allegedly trying to rob a resident during a drug deal, police said.
The incident was reported about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Essex Skyline Towers, located at 15 MacArthur Place, Santa Ana police said in a news release.
Officers found one man in the parking structure with a gunshot wound to his upper torso and another in the lobby with gunshot wounds to his upper and lower body, police said.
Officers then went up to an apartment on the 15th floor and found a 29-year-old man with a graze wound to the head and other blunt force trauma injuries.
The man lives in the unit where the alleged drug deal was taking place, and the two suspects arrived at the apartment together, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told KTLA.
All three men were treated at the scene by Orange County Fire Authority, taken to local trauma centers and are expected to survive.
The incident prompted a massive response from law enforcement. Officers diligently searched for additional victims and possible shooters in both towers and eventually turned the scene over to investigators.
A preliminary investigation revealed that during the attempted robbery, an altercation escalated to “an exchange of gunshots,” police said. It is unclear who shot who during the incident, however.
Detectives eventually found marijuana, evidence of drug sales operations, cash and two guns in the apartment. The guns are believed to belong to the suspects, Bertagna said.
The suspects have not been identified, but police said they were in custody at a trauma center “pending identification and a review of the facts by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.”
Bertagna said the men are believed to be from out of town and had multiple IDs on them.
Investigators are working to determine if Wednesday’s incident is related to other similar robberies at the apartment complex.
The resident of the unit apparently has been involved in narcotics sales and was the victim of two home-invasion robberies, Bertagna said. It will be up to the DA’s office to determine whether he will face charges in this case, the corporal added.
“At this point he is the victim of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery,” Bertagna said.
Anyone with information about the shooting can call the Santa Ana Police Department’s homicide section at 714-245-8390.