Prosecutors present case against alleged Oceano Dunes shooter

Francisco Orozco

Law enforcement officers who investigated a shooting at the Oceano Dunes in May that left six people wounded are testifying in court this week as prosecutors make their case that a 19-year-old Oakland man was the lone gunman. [Tribune]

Shortly before midnight on May 4, shots were fired into a crowd at an unpermitted concert taking place at the Oceano Dunes. Each of the six people wounded in the shooting were hospitalized but survived. Some of the victims needed to undergo surgery and received treatment in an intensive care unit.

After the shooting, sheriff’s deputies tracked and arrested Francisco Orozco, who is now charged with one count of attempted murder and five counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Investigators did not find Orozco in possession of a gun, but they say he was the lone shooter.

Guy Galambos, Orozco’s attorney, argues his client was not involved in the shooting and was misidentified by a witness.

During a preliminary hearing on Monday, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deputy Ian McFarland testified that, after the shooting, he saw Orozco emerge out of the dark from behind a trailer in an area that had already been cordoned off by officers. Orozco said he was just walking around, but people should not have been out and about in that area, McFarland said.

McFarland told Orozco to move along. The deputy then heard the sound of the racking of the slide of a semiautomatic handgun, he testified.

The deputy flashed his flashlight at Orozco, who was then standing about 30 yards away with two other men. McFarland said he was concerned for his safety because the shooter might still be in the area.

Deputy Bradley Adams testified that, as officers were detaining people for questioning, he saw someone duck behind a nearby trailer. Adams investigated and found a loaded black Beretta 9mm handgun sticking out of the sand under the corner of a tent, he testified. 

Adams also said two expended shell casings were found at the trailer, but they did not match the Beretta. 

Deputy James Silverstein testified that  the alleged target of the shooting said he saw Orozco fire the gun in his direction from the door of the trailer about 50 yards north of the concert area. The shots missed him.

The alleged target said he knew Orozco as “Gordo” and that they went to the same high school in Oakland, Silverstein testified. The man said he had two past incidents with Orozco, including one in which Orozco pulled a handgun on him.

The witness also told investigators that following the shooting, Orozco handed the gun to someone in his group,  members of the Northern California gang Nortenos.

The victims of the shooting did not see who shot them, a district attorney’s office investigator testified.

Testimony in the case is resuming on Tuesday. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, Judge Jacquelyn Duffy will rule whether enough evidence exists for the case to go to trial.

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