An LA gang member was sentenced to 87 years to life in a San Fernando Superior courtroom Monday for his involvement in a 2008 shooting in Santa Clarita.
On March 5, 2008 at 12:41 a.m., deputies responded to the 7-Eleven store at 27588 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country to reports of a shooting.
When they arrived they learned that another suspected gang member, a 28-year-old male, had been shot at least one time in the torso while in the parking lot at the location.
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Deputies also learned that an argument occurred inside the store between the victim and the suspect. The suspect left in a vehicle and returned a short time later with another suspected gang member as a passenger in his car.
After a second confrontation outside the store the passenger, who had returned with the initial suspect, fired several rounds from a handgun at the victim striking him in the torso. The two men then fled the area and were not located.
The victim was transported to a local area hospital. He survived the incident.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's COBRA unit began an immediate investigation into the incident. Early into the investigation a deputy spotted a vehicle matching the description of that used in the commission of the crime. Additional investigation led to the identification of a primary suspect.
The suspect was identified as James Duran, 37, a male Hispanic from East Los Angeles and a known gang member who was on parole after serving 13 years in state prison in connection with a 1994 murder.
Two weeks into the investigation deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station served a search warrant in the 27000 block of Solamint Road, Canyon Country where additional evidence was located.
A warrant was issued for the arrest of Duran and on April 8, 2008, he was stopped by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department driving the same vehicle used in the Canyon Country shooting.
He resisted arrest and fought with deputies, but was ultimately arrested. San Bernardino deputies reportedly found that he also had methamphetamine in his possession. The suspect later fought with correctional staff at the West Valley Detention Center before ultimately being picked up by Santa Clarita detectives and booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on charges of attempted murder.
Now, 31 months later, the jury trial has concluded and Duran was found guilty on one felony count of attempted murder and two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon (gun).
Duran was sentenced Monday in San Fernando Superior Court to 87 years to life in state prison for his role in the shooting. Under the current three strikes law Duran will not be eligible for parole consideration until he serves a minimum of 67 years in state prison.
The second suspect, who is believed to be the trigger man, has not yet been identified or located and the investigation is ongoing.