General Crime

* Alberto Ruiz and Eric Salazar Charged in Alleged Murder of Christian Daniel Garcia

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Two fellow gang members of slain Oakland gang member Christian Daniel Garcia have been charged in connection with his death even though they did not fire the shots that caused his death, Oakland police said today. Garcia, 18, was shot in the 6400 block of Avenal Avenue at about 11:40 p.m. on June 17 and was pronounced dead at a hospital about 35 minutes later. Police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said 18-year-old Alberto Ruiz has been charged with murder, attempted murder and being involved in a criminal street gang. Joshi said Eric Salazar, a 23 year-old Oakland man, has been charged with being an accessory to a felony and being involved in a criminal street gang. She said Garcia and his fellow gang members drove a van to the 6400 block of Avenal Avenue the night of June 17 and taunted members of a rival gang and that Garcia began shooting at his rivals.

She said the return gunfire from the opposing gang fatally wounded Garcia. Joshi said Ruiz and Salazar were not injured and pushed the van to the 2600 block of Seminary Avenue before running away. She said Ruiz and Salazar admitted to being in the van with Garcia and to being gang members. Garcia was charged with murder under California’s “provocative act” doctrine, under which a defendant can be convicted of murder if he participates in a felony that is inherently dangerous and where someone is killed. The Alameda County prosecutors who filed the charges in the case were not immediately available for comment, but Joshi said they ruled that the rival gang members whose shots killed Garcia were acting in self-defense and will not be charged.

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