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 on Arastradero Road in Palo Alto. 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. At about 3:16 p.m., they found the victim, Francisco Alvarez, bleeding at Maybell Avenue and El Camino Real, 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 lived at 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, he remained a fugitive for more than a month. He turned himself in to police on April 26, 2009.
He is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 2 in Santa Clara County Superior Court.