Defendant Michael Beltran, 25 years old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced Wednesday by the Honorable Robert Laforge to serve 15 years in state prison for his role in a gang-motivated shooting that occurred at Jacobs Park in June 2019. Beltran pled “no contest” to four counts of assault with a semi-automatic handgun in December of last year for the four victims that were struck when he and his younger brother confronted a perceived rival and his younger brother opened fire.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This senseless act put many people’s lives in danger. They were innocently enjoying an athletic event in a public park when this shooting occurred. Although this defendant did not pull the trigger, he encouraged and assisted in the act, which makes him responsible. This sentence is appropriate, and we hope it brings some solace to the victims in this case.”
Beltran was driving a car full of fellow Norteno gang members around West Santa Rosa during the early evening hours of June 5, 2019 when they saw an individual who they believed to be a rival Sureno gang member in front of Jacobs Park. Beltran stopped the car in the middle of the street, and he and his younger brother left their car to confront the individual. Beltran’s younger brother began firing his semi-automatic handgun in the direction of the park. At the time of the shooting, the park was occupied by more than a hundred people, including youth soccer teams that had been practicing. The random gunfire struck four individuals, including the coach of one of the youth soccer teams and one of the young players on the team.
During the sentencing hearing, a letter that was written by the young boy was read in court. The boy described the physical and mental pain that he continues to experience as a result of being shot, and stated that his only birthday wish for this year, “was to feel better and have a safe place where I can play with my teammates and friends.”
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Matthew Henning and Robert Rasp, and the Santa Rosa Police Department headed the investigation.