Two Men Convicted of Attempted Murder of Police Officer

James Martinez, 21, and Sean O'Neill, 23, are accused of a gang-related shooting and attempting to kill a police officer last April

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A jury has convicted two alleged South Bay gang members for the attempted murders of a Chula Vista police officer and another man.

    According to prosecutors, James Martinez, 21, and Sean O’Neill, 23, allegedly shot a man multiple times outside Wild Wooly’s Saloon in Chula Vista in April 2011.

    After the shooting prosecutors said Chula Vista police officer Ricardo Cruz followed the men in a high-speed pursuit into a cul-de-sac on Madrona Street and ordered them out of their car.

    Instead of complying, Martinez drove straight into Cruz, slamming the officer’s body into the patrol car. Martinez and O'Neill fled the scene and were arrested later in May.

    Cruz suffered a broken foot and a concussion. The shooting victim from Wild Wooly’s Saloon was shot four times but survived, authorities said.

    On Tuesday, both Martinez and O’Neill were convicted of attempted murder by a San Diego Superior Court jury.

    They both face life in prison for the gang-related shooting and their roles in trying to kill Officer Cruz.
    The jury found that the crimes were committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

    “Our office comes down hard on gang violence and on attacks on our police officers,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Wednesday in a media release. “This verdict shows that the community has no tolerance for these types of crimes either. Deputy District Attorney David Bost in our gangs division did an excellent job presenting the evidence to the jury.”

    A sentencing date for Martinez and O’Neill will be set on Thursday.

    Check back for updates.

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