Court records: Prom after-party ends in gunfire 

L.A. County Superior Court in San Fernando.

The sound of a shotgun being racked sent a clear enough message that the prom after-party was over. 

Some ran from the house. A girl was seen crying on the lawn. 

The trouble was just beginning. 

Events that night in Valencia would take a tragic turn after gang members intervened in a family fight at the home of a Los Angeles Police Department officer, according to the preliminary information pieced together by investigators. 

The LAPD officer ended up being the victim of a retaliatory shooting in his own driveway that involved four suspected Newhall gang members, after he ended the party by brandishing a shotgun in the early morning hours of April 21, according to court records obtained by The Signal.  

The following narrative is taken directly from statements provided in L.A. County Superior Court records obtained by The Signal: 

Fight breaks out  

The trouble began in the home in the otherwise quiet residential neighborhood on Lupita Drive around 3:20 a.m., long after Hart High School’s prom ended the previous evening. 

An altercation broke out at the home between a female party attendee and the girl’s mother. The mother told investigators she was acting as a sort of chaperone to maintain the guest list, as she worked at a local high school and knew many of the partygoers. 

However, in the party’s waning hours, the chaperone and her daughter’s argument became a physical confrontation.  

The woman’s son, who also happened to be an attendee at the party, saw the fight develop and intervened by restraining his mother. 

According to court documents, two Newhall gang members who attended the party recognized the chaperone well from past interactions on campus. The gang members took umbrage at how the son spoke to his mother, and according to witness statements, one of the suspects scolded the son about that while allegedly threatening him with a handgun that was tucked into his waistband.  

After witnessing the above exchange, the LAPD officer ended the party by retrieving a shotgun from his garage, standing on his front lawn and demanding everyone leave the party. 

Most people did so, according to witnesses. Investigators noted in their report they believed he retrieved the weapon in the interest of ensuring the safety of everyone there. 

The retaliation 

What happened next is the focus of the criminal complaint filed earlier this month.  

According to witness statements, investigators believe four suspects ranging in age from their teens to mid-20s returned to the scene less than 10 minutes after the officer cleared his house.  

One suspect later told investigators he returned to the scene because he didn’t think the man holding a shotgun would shoot it with multiple minors around. That same suspect also denied being involved in the subsequent shooting. He also denied knowing the homeowner was a police officer.  

Regardless, the three assailants, wearing bandanas to partially cover their faces, angrily confronted the man holding a shotgun in his driveway, standing next to the chaperone who had previously been in the argument.  

She pulled back the mask from one of the assailants to see his face and address him as he turned away. 

The woman tried to de-escalate the situation, using the gang members’ names and pleading with them to not escalate things further.  

During her pleas, a gunshot rang out. 

The three suspects were seen fleeing the house to a truck that was already driving away as the suspects were entering it, according to witnesses. 

Investigation begins  

SCV Sheriff’s Station detectives declined to discuss any specifics about the case Thursday afternoon other than to say the shooting is part of an active and ongoing investigation.  

Due to the number of witnesses involved, physical evidence and video footage, deputies were able to identify four suspects. 

Detectives declined to comment on whether the four suspects taken into custody in connection with their investigation into the shooting were the three assailants in the driveway and the person who was believed to have kept the truck running while the shooting occurred. 

Medical personnel with the L.A. County Fire Department were contacted by the Sheriff’s Department at 3:38 a.m. April 21 regarding a medical call at the home with instructions for a “police standby,” which typically happens when deputies need to secure a crime scene before medical assistance can be provided. 

They arrived seven minutes later and transported the patient to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital for treatment of a bullet wound that had fractured his femur, according to court records. 

When deputies arrived, they were given a helpful first clue: They suspected the truck stolen by the assailants was leaking oil, which led deputies to where it had been parked, less than three-quarters of a mile from the scene of the shooting in a residential neighborhood. The truck owner had not yet reported it stolen, according to investigators. 

The suspects identified in court records include three brothers — a 17-year-old, a 20-year-old and a 25-year-old — as well as another 17-year-old. Officials have not confirmed whether the two juveniles are in custody. The two suspects over 18 remain in jail pending future court hearings, according to LASD custody records available online. 

Criminal charges 

The adult suspects are both facing multiple felony allegations from the after-party shooting, according to criminal complaints filed June 6. 

Anthony Alexis Sandoval, 25, is scheduled to be arraigned on charges that include assault with a deadly weapon, a conspiracy charge and grand theft auto, as well as three separate charges related to prior convictions he had for auto theft. 

Prosecutors also charged three special allegations that the felonies were committed while Anthony Sandoval was on bail. 

L.A. County Superior Court records also indicated that Sandoval had a previous case this year from a 2023 arrest. 

In December, he was taken into custody on suspicion of felony domestic violence. Charges were filed in March and then dismissed in May, with the reason listed as “lack of a speedy trial.”  

LASD custody records available online also indicate Anthony Sandoval was released from jail on a bond the day before the party in connection with an April 1 arrest. That charge information was not immediately available Thursday. 

Anthony Sandoval is due back in court July 26 in San Fernando, where he is expected to have a hearing to schedule his formal appearance on the charges. 

His codefendant is his brother, Hector Sandoval, who is facing two charges: assault with a deadly weapon, to wit, a firearm, and two special allegations, one that a firearm was used and another that a great bodily injury occurred. 

He’s also due back in court July 26. 

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