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Costa Mesa Police Department
Thursday March 6th, 2014 :: 09:55 a.m. PST
Advisory

Final Subject Sentenced for 2008 Shooting of 15 Year Old Girl

On January 17, 2014, Honorable Judge John Conley of Orange County Superior Court, Central Justice Center, sentenced Salvador Burciaga to 40 years-to-life for his involvement as the gunman in the gang-related shooting of a 15-year old girl in 2008. Burciaga’s sentence was the last sentence handed out to four gang members convicted of their involvement in the shooting. Burciaga and his three co-defendants were convicted of attempted murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, and other charges and enhancements related to the use of a firearm and gang participation.

In July of 2008, the 15-year old female shooting victim was found, by responding Costa Mesa police officers, lying in an apartment complex driveway along the 700 block of Shalimar Drive. The victim had gunshot wounds to her upper body. Witnesses told arriving officers that moments earlier a man holding a shotgun exited a car. They stated the male had walked towards a group of people standing in the nearby driveway. Members of the standing group of people fled on foot from the gunman, including the juvenile female (shooting victim) who accidentally fell down while trying to flee from the area. The female fell to the ground and, at that moment, the male shooter fired his shotgun once towards the female. Shotgun pellets from the blast struck the juvenile female’s torso while she was already on the ground. The victim remained laying on the driveway until officers and paramedics arrived to render medical aid.

The shooter reportedly returned to his vehicle and entered the front passenger seat. The vehicle, which contained three other males, drove away from the scene. (The shooting victim later testified, at two separate jury trials, recalling for jurors details of the shooting and describing personal health problems stemming from her gunshot injuries.) Officers recovered a baseball cap left behind at the scene by the shooter. Forensics Investigators processed gathered evidence, and later identified Salvador Burciaga’s DNA from the baseball cap.

Additional follow up by Costa Mesa Police Gang Investigators recovered surveillance video from a Costa Mesa K-Mart. The video showed Burciaga, Cesar Pedroza, Oscar Ramos, and Nestor Lopez shopping together at the store immediately prior to the shooting incident. All four subjects were known by CMPD Gang Investigators as formally documented gang members. Receipts from K-mart listed the recovered baseball cap as one of several items purchased by the group that evening.

Cesar Pedroza, the suspected driver of the getaway vehicle, was convicted of attempted murder and related charges and enhancements. Pedroza was sentenced to 50 years-to-life for his role in the shooting. Suspected backseat passengers, Oscar Ramos and Nestor Lopez, were sentenced to 15 years and 20 years, respectively. Ramos and Lopez both pleaded guilty during preliminary proceedings, allowing them to avoid a jury trial.

Although Pedroza, Ramos, and Lopez were all juveniles at the time of the shooting, they were charged and convicted as adults in Orange County Superior Court, Central Justice Center. Assigned Deputy District Attorney Cliff Page actively worked with Costa Mesa Police Gang Investigators throughout the investigation. Page prosecuted both Pedroza and Burciaga. Pedroza and Burciaga are currently serving their sentences at California state prison in Wasco. Both inmates are appealing their convictions.

Address/Location
Costa Mesa Police Department
99 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 714-754-5252

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