Gonzalez was fatally shot about 4:30 p.m. on Riverine Avenue near 10th Street, which is close to Willard Intermediate School, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Gonzalez’s body was found on a grass strip between the roadway and the sidewalk. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Bertagna said.
Authorities are trying to determine if the shooting was tied to a stabbing that took place about 3:30 p.m. a block away on West Halesworth Street, where a male was attacked by a group of people. The male suffered superficial injuries, refused medical treatment and was uncooperative with police, Bertagna said.
An hour later, investigators believe that several people were sitting in a white sedan stopped on the west side of Riverine when a red SUV pulled up and someone fired several gunshots.
Gonzalez was in the driver’s seat and was struck at least once, Bertagna said.
“Everyone got out of the car, took cover and returned to render assistance,” Santa Ana police Sgt. Lorenzo Carrillo said.
Investigators believe the shooting was a continuation of the altercation between rival gang members.
“It appears the victim from (the stabbing) was an associate of the individual’s who were in the victim’s car in the murder,” Bertagna said.
Police have not released any description of the shooter or shooters.
The shooting marks the second homicide of the year in Santa Ana, with both appearing gang-related.
Authorities are asking anyone who witnessed the shootings to call Santa Ana investigators at 714-245-8648, or 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
A reward of up to $50,000 may be awarded. The Gang Homicide Reward Program, funded with a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor, was created in May 2007 to help solve gang homicides. So far, more than $250,000 has been paid out.
-Register staff writer Sean Emery contributed to this report.