Two gang members were formally charged Tuesday in the death of a 9-year-old girl who was shot last week while playing with friends in front of her Anaheim home, officials said.
Alfredo Miguel Aquino, 20, of Anaheim, and Ricardo Cruz, 19, of Buena Park, were each charged with murder, street terrorism and weapons charges, all felonies, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney’s office.
They are accused in the fatal shooting of Ximena Meza, who died after being struck once in the chest by gunfire on Oct. 22. Police believe Ximena was the victim of an incident in which the intended targets were a group of men who had congregated in an area near the children.
Aquino and Cruz were arrested Oct. 24, the day after a $50,000 reward was offered in the case. The pair were being held without bail when they appeared in court Tuesday afternoon. Their arraignment was continued to Nov. 21.
If convicted, they each face a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole, prosecutors said.
An investigation by the Anaheim Police Department is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Ernie Gomez 714-347-8844.