SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — 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 he suffered in a shootout with police.
Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez was shot in the head, and his attorney had said 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.
The county district attorney’s office said every medical expert who has evaluated Gaxiola Gonzalez 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,” said a statement from the District Attorney’s office. “He will continued to be housed in a lock down facility.”
Police say that on March 31, Gaxiola Gonzalez opened fire at a mobile home brokerage company, Unified Homes, in Orange southeast of Los Angeles.
Authorities had to use bolt cutters to break bicycle locks that had been used to shut the gates at the business complex.
Family members of the victims were in the courtroom where Orange County Superior Court Judge Cheri Pham told them 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.”
Gaxiola Gonzalez is charged with special-circumstances 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.
Authorities haven’t revealed a motive for the attack. His estranged wife worked at the business for more than a decade. But Aleyda Mendoza told The Associated Press in a text that she and Gaxiola had been separated for two years, and “he never told me anything about where he was staying or what he was doing.”