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Santa Rosa gang member sentenced to 15 years in Jacobs Park shooting

A 25-year-old Santa Rosa man was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in state prison for his role in a gang-motivated shooting at Jacobs Park in June of 2019.

Michael Beltran had pleaded “no contest” to four counts of assault with a semi-automatic handgun in the attack, which left four people with gunshot wounds, including a youth soccer coach and an 11-year-old boy. The sentence was handed down by Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Robert LaForge.

Beltran, who did not pull the trigger in the shooting, was driving an SUV full of fellow Norteño gang members around west Santa Rosa on the evening of June 5, 2019, when they saw a man they believed to be a rival Sureño gang member, according to a release from the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office.

After Beltran stopped the car, he and his younger brother exited the vehicle to confront the individual. The younger brother, 17 at the time, opened fire, unleashing a hail of bullets that struck the gang rival and three bystanders in a park crowded with people coming and going for youth soccer practice and adult scrimmages. None of the victims was fatally injured.

“Although this defendant did not pull the trigger, he encouraged and assisted in the act, which makes him responsible,” said District Attorney Jill Ravitch. “This sentence is appropriate and we hope it brings some solace to the victims in this case.”

Ravitch described the shooting as a “senseless act” that endangered the lives of people “innocently enjoying an athletic event in a public park.”

The young boy wounded in the shooting wrote a letter that was read during the sentencing hearing. In it, he described the physical and mental pain that he continues to experience as a result of being shot. His only birthday wish this year, he said, was “to feel better and have a safe place where I can play with my teammates and friends.”

You can reach Staff Writer Austin Murphy at 707-521-5214 or austin.murphy@pressdemocrat.com or on Twitter @ausmurph88.

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