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Man Booked on Weapons Charges

Arrest followed a shooting into a crowd of people by an unknown suspect

A 21-year-old man was arrested early Saturday morning in Menlo Park on a felony charge of possessing a firearm after another man fired a gun into a crowd of people during a fight.

No one was injured during the gun fire.

Just as officers arrived on the 1200 block of Henderson Avenue shortly before 4 a.m., roughly eight people, including Christian Ayala, fled the scene of the fight on foot, police said. One of them was likely the shooter, police said. 

"One guy got beat up really badly," Sergeant Eric Cowans said.

Officers chased Ayala through a yard and detained him shortly after. The arresting officers also found a partially loaded handgun with a large capacity magazine that had Ayala had ditched during the chase.

Officers later found expended shell casings that matched the caliber on Ayala's handgun. He admitted to owning the weapon and was arrested on the possession charge. Police also booked him on suspicion of firing into the crowd, but the investigation has now shown he was almost certainly not the shooter, police said. Ayala also denied the allegations during his arrest, police said.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Ayala is still in custody on $50,000 bail and will appear Wednesday in court at 1:30 p.m. to enter a plea.

Banks Albach July 20, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Ayala was carrying a .45 caliber Glock handgun, according to the DA's office, and officers later found seven shell casings of the same caliber near the scene of the rumble.

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