Angel Santana

Gang unit officers from the LAPD  Mission Station have arrested a suspect for the July 17 double homicide that occurred in front of a 7-Eleven store in Panorama City.

Angel Santana was taken into custody on Aug. 2 and booked on a charge of murder. He remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.

Lt. Paul Vernon, commander of the Mission Detective Division, said gang officers assigned to the Mission station — after receiving information — spotted Santana hanging out with a woman and another man at the Palms Motel in North Hills. All three were detained. The woman was eventually released; the other man, who was not identified by police, was arrested on warrants.

“We had information that Santana was still local,” Vernon said. “Every gang officer was looking for this guy. It was just a matter of time.”

Santana is accused of taking part in an incident where three men were shot, and two died in in the shooting.

Vernon said a gang officer connected a witness’s description of a one-eyed shooter to Santana. The officer’s unit later made the arrests at the motel.

The arrest further defines the value of having the gang unit, Vernon said.

“These officers know the players: who are enemies and allies, who are feuding; the gang gossip, the tattoos, the cars, etc.,” he said.  “Around here, local motels are prime places to find gang members and intelligence, and that’s just where they found Santana.”

Detectives will present the case to prosecutors over the next couple days to secure a murder charge against Santana, while they continue to investigate the case, Vernon said.

“We still have one more shooter to identify,” he added. “With Santana in custody, that might come a little easier.”