Former Gunn student found guilty in 2009 shooting

Palo Alto resident faces 18 to 20 years in prison for gang-related attack

Daniel Gil-Fernandez, a Gunn High School dropout and self-proclaimed Nortenos gang member, was found guilty Tuesday afternoon, May 29, of shooting a rival gang member in 2009, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Chuck Gillingham said.

The jury of seven women and five men took just five hours to convict Gil-Fernandez, 21, of attempted voluntary manslaughter in the March 18, 2009, shooting. Gil-Fernandez was also convicted of two enhancements of causing great bodily injury and discharge of a firearm. He faces 18 to 20 years in state prison, Gillingham said.

The daylight shooting caused a precautionary lockdown at Terman Middle School, Gunn High School and Juana Briones and Barron Park elementary schools. Palo Alto police responded to a report of a shooting near a carport at the Arastradero Park Apartments at 574 Arastradero Road in Palo Alto. At about 3:16 p.m., they found the victim, Francisco Alvarez, bleeding at Maybell Avenue and El Camino Real, which is near the apartment complex.

Alvarez, 20, a San Jose resident, had recently moved to Palo Alto. He was shot twice in the torso and groin with a small-caliber handgun during a Nortenos-Surenos gang-motivated argument with Gil-Fernandez, who was a resident of the apartments, according to Gillingham. Eight shots were fired. Alvarez survived the shooting after emergency surgery at Stanford Hospital.

Police arranged for protection for Alvarez's family while police sought Gil-Fernandez, who had told friends he was a member of the Nortenos gang. Despite pleas from his family and friends to turn himself in, including on Palo Alto Online's Town Square, he remained a fugitive for more than a month. He turned himself in to police on April 26.

He is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 2 in Santa Clara County Superior Court.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

While I am glad that this young thug was locked up, I can't help but wonder about solutions for this issue.

Gangs, theft and violence are becoming an increasing part of society. I read a book last week that spoke of how "shame" associated with criminal or deviant activity was one of the factors that prevented it. Now, some criminals literally boast of their "labor."

What can be done in terms of prevention?

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