Gang member, 17, charged as an adult with murder of infant

Evidence justifies four counts, Zaragoza to be tried as adult, San Mateo County DA's office says

A 17-year-old boy suspected of fatally shooting a 3-month-old baby in East Palo Alto early Sunday was arraigned in San Mateo County Superior Court this afternoon.

Fabian Zaragoza, who has been charged with murder as an adult, appeared in court wearing a yellow jumpsuit, with his hair in two long braids. He did not enter a plea, and was referred to the public defender's office for representation.

The victim's parents, Ivonne Garcia Lopez and Oscar Jimenez, were present in courtroom and sat surrounded by family during the proceedings.

Garcia Lopez sat in a wheelchair and wept.

Both parents were wounded in the shooting, which happened as they left a baby shower on Wisteria Lane at about 1 a.m. Their infant son, Izack Jesus, was shot in the head and later died at Stanford Hospital, according to East Palo Alto police.

Investigators believe Zaragoza and another person fired shots at the family after mistaking them for Sureno gang members who had beaten up Zaragoza in Redwood City on May 31.

In addition to murder, Zaragoza has been charged with the special circumstance of lying in wait, two counts of attempted murder with the infliction of great bodily injury, and use of a firearm in the commission of the crimes, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.

He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted, Guidotti said.

Zaragoza, who is being held without bail in a juvenile detention facility, is scheduled to return to court on June 15 to enter a plea.

Zaragoza, who police said is a known gang member, was taken into custody Sunday afternoon on weapons charges and later implicated himself in the shooting when he was questioned by investigators, acting police Capt. Jeff Liu said.

Guidotti said the DA's office has asked that a booking photo not be released at this time, as the case is still under investigation.

A memorial fund to help with Izack's funeral expenses, "Izack Jesus Jimenez Garcia memorial fund account," has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank and is accessible at any branch. The account number is 6836571460.

The family has invited the public to the services scheduled on Thursday (June 9) at the Crippen and Flynn Woodside Chapel, located at 400 Woodside Road, Redwood City. The service is scheduled between 5 p.m. and midnight.

Related coverage:

VIDEO: Mother of slain infant speaks out

17-year-old arrested for infant's homicide

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Like this comment
Posted by JW
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 8, 2011 at 11:56 am

Glad he's facing big boy charges. Old enough to kill is too old for a slap on the wrist in juvenile hall.

Like this comment
Posted by Thanks
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Thank you San Mateo County deputy district attorney. This guy is old enough to know right from wrong. Maybe he can tell his gang his stories about the horrible life in prison so they can understand. Or maybe not. Doubt they'll visit him; they'll just move on.

Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 9, 2011 at 11:09 am

Unfortunately, in the hierarchy of gang culture, he just moved up to a higher level.

Like this comment
Posted by decent
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I have said it before: "This gang stuff is really just baby-games played with deadly weapons." If this had been an attack with spitballs or snowballs it could easily have been passed off as kid stuff. The cliquishness and "us-vs-them" attitudes are straight out of middle school. This child, and he is really just a child, more in mental capacity than physical age, just made the mistake of playing his games with deadly weapons, and he made the small, childish mistake of mis-identification, thinking he was surly right when he was dead wrong. It is so sad to see a child make a simple mistake that turned out so badly.

On the other hand, he attacked an innocent family with a gun and killed a baby. After they lock him up they can toss the key in the river.

Will future children learn from his mistake? Probably not in the long run. They will make their own mistakes before they are old enough to discover they should learn from others.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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