Self-inflicted gunshot wound results in investigation

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The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.

A 23-year-old Newhall man had maybe three to five minutes to live after he was dropped off at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital last month, medical staff told Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station investigators. 

The gunshot victim, identified in court records obtained by The Signal as a suspected gang member, shot himself in the leg March 12, just one week after he was released from jail. 

While the shooter declined to tell officers how he got to the hospital or where the incident happened, detectives believe they’ve figured that piece out for themselves, according to court records.  

Now the man’s ride to the hospital, who’s also a suspected member of the same gang, is facing a gun charge following an SCV Sheriff’s Station investigation. 

The victim said he was pulling a “ghost gun” that belonged to his “homie” out of his pocket around 3 a.m., when he accidentally pulled the trigger, according to sworn statements from officers who investigated the shooting and media reports from the time of the incident. 

The man said he then blacked out and doesn’t remember what happened next, but added that he was about 10 minutes from the hospital.  

Doctors told station officials that the bullet that entered the gunshot victim’s upper-left thigh, struck a large artery and traveled down his leg before exiting his lower-left calf, leaving the man in danger of bleeding out. 

Detectives with the station’s COBRA, or Career Offenders, Burglary, Robbery, Assault, Team recognized the gunshot victim from previous encounters and later determined the identity of his friend who dropped the victim off at the hospital. The driver, they learned, had an active restraining order out against him. 

That meant neither could legally be in possession of a gun, according to statements from station investigators. 

Deputies ultimately caught up with the driver while he was with his father, who’s also prohibited from owning firearms as a convicted felon, during a traffic stop near the intersection of 14th and Chestnut streets around 8:30 p.m. April 1. 

The son, who ran from officers, was ultimately taken into custody on suspicion of illegal gun possession, according to station officials.  

The suspect is due back in court Tuesday to face four charges from the District Attorney’s office, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records available online: three counts of being a felon in possession of ammunition, which can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, and one count of knowingly committing a violation of a protective order. 

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