Accused Driver in Fatal Santa Ana Drive-By Shooting Due in Court

Photo: Santa Ana Police Department

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A woman accused of being behind the wheel in a deadly drive-by shooting of an innocent bystander in Santa Ana is due to be arraigned Tuesday, while her alleged accomplice will go to court early next month on a murder charge.

Brooke Victoria De La Cruz , 24, of Orange, was charged Monday with two counts of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and a count of being an accessory after the fact -- all felonies -- in the death of a mother of three who was not the intended target.

De La Cruz also faces sentencing enhancements for gang activity. She is due in court Tuesday morning at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

Her alleged accomplice, Mark Remmers, 19, also of Orange, was charged Monday with murder with a special circumstances allegation of gang activity.

Remmers also was charged with two counts of attempted murder and faces sentencing enhancements for discharge of a gun causing death, gang activity, committing a crime while out on custody in another case and attempted premeditated murder.

Neither De La Cruz nor Remmers entered pleas Monday at the Central Justice Center. Remmers was scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 5.

Remmers is the accused gunman, while De La Cruz was allegedly behind the wheel of the car used in the attack, according to Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin.

Police were called just before 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4 to the 1400 block of South Cypress Avenue, Valentin said. According to the chief, the targets of the shooting were two teenage boys -- but Maria Del Rufugio Mora of Santa Ana was struck in the upper body in a parking lot at 1473 S. Main St.

The victim was taken to a hospital in critical condition, and she died five days later, Valentin said.

With the help of surveillance video, police worked up a profile on a suspect car and it led them to the suspects, according to the chief.

"This is truly a very, very tough case that really tugs at our hearts," Valentin said. "This is a mother of three boys, a true innocent bystander. ... The people involved in this senseless murder have devastated this family."

Police are still seeking two other suspects in the car used in the drive-by, Valentin said.

Remmers was out on bail at the time of the shooting on felony counts of carrying a concealed loaded unregistered firearm and carrying a loaded unregistered firearm in public, according to court records.

Police asked any witnesses to step forward and call police at 714-245- 8390. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at 855-TIP-OCCS.

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