Accused California mass killer incompetent to stand trial

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A judge ruled Friday that a man charged with killing four people in a shooting at a Southern California real estate office isn’t competent to stand trial because of injuries suffered in a shootout with police.

Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez was shot in the head, and his attorney said previously that he might be incapable of understanding the charges against him. 

He didn’t speak at the hearing and didn’t show any obvious reaction to the proceedings, the Orange County Register reported. The case is now suspended indefinitely.

Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, of Fullerton, makes his first appearance in Orange County Superior Court for his arraignment in Santa Ana, Calif., Thursday, July 8, 2021. On Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, Gaxiola Gonzalez, charged with killing four people in a shooting at a Southern California real estate office, was ruled incompetent to stand trial because of injuries he suffered in a shootout with police. (Leonard Ortiz/The Orange County Register via AP, File)
(Leonard Ortiz/The Orange County Register via AP, File))

The Orange County district attorney’s office said every medical expert who has evaluated Gonzalez, 45, has concluded he isn’t competent to help his lawyers because of “deficits” caused by the wound.

“He will now be evaluated by medical professionals who will assist the court to determine his future placement and medical treatment plan in an effort to restore his competency,” the DA’s office said in a statement. “He will continued to be housed in a lockdown facility.”

Relatives of the victims were in the courtroom when Orange County Superior Court Judge Cheri Pham announced that the case couldn’t proceed unless the defendant is found competent.

“Everything that is happening now is beyond everyone’s control,” Pham said, according to the Register.

“We are struggling with the system, and yet there is nothing we can do,” said Raquel Ramirez Quiroz, the aunt of one of the victims. “This is just a nightmare and we can’t wake up. … I hope this moves faster, because the justice we are not getting is tearing this family apart.”

Gonzalez is charged with four counts of murder for the killings of Jenevieve Raygoza, 28; Luis Tovar, 50; Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; and Matthew Farias, 9. He also is charged with the attempted murder of Matthew’s mother, Blanca Ismeralda Tamayo, and for allegedly shooting at two officers who weren’t injured.

The mass shooting occurred on March 31 in Orange. Authorities haven’t revealed a motive for the attack. 

The defendant’s estranged wife worked at the business for more than a decade. But Aleyda Mendoza told The Associated Press that she and Gonzalez had been separated for two years, and “he never told me anything about where he was staying or what he was doing.”

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