Written by AARON CASTREJON
COVINA – The man seen in a video instigating a fight with complete strangers and attempting to gun down his victim was taken into custody July 6.
Vincent Ortega, a 31-year-old El Monte resident, was taken into custody, but not before he fled from a traffic stop in the 500 block of South Citrus Avenue while carrying a backpack containing a loaded handgun, ammunition, stolen credit cards, IDs and drugs, Covina Police said.
Ortega was identified by investigators as the gunman in the March 23, 2020 shooting that occurred in the 1900 block of East Cienega Avenue. A fight broke out between two men when an SUV approached.
An occupant of the SUV exited and forcefully took the necklace of an onlooker to the fight. The onlooker and fighting men turned their attention on the robbery suspect and began fighting him.
The robbery suspect, later identified as Ortega, retrieved a handgun while fleeing to the SUV and fired twice, hitting one of the three other men in an arm.
The shooting victim smashed out the rear window to the SUV seconds before it was driven away at high speed. The shooting victim was hospitalized and later released.
Ortega was the passenger in the July 6 traffic stop. After fleeing the vehicle, Ortega ran into an occupied home in the 200 block of West Casad Street. Ortega was taken into custody shortly after fleeing and no one inside the home was harmed, Covina Police said.
Ortega was also arrested by Claremont Police in June on suspicion of grand theft auto, possession of a handgun and ammunition, but Ortega bailed out and failed to show at his court hearing. A warrant was issued for his arrest, Covina Police said.
Ortega was booked on suspicion of burglary, being a felon in possession of a handgun and ammunition, identity theft, resisting arrest, drug offenses and attempted homicide, Covina Police said.
Ortega is scheduled for a court appearance Wednesday, July 8.