Only one day after the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that took the lives of 20 children and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, Marcos Gurrola allegedly took out a .40-caliber Glock handgun in a crowded Orange County mall parking lot and fired 54 rounds toward the Macy’s building. He stopped shooting and surrendered when two Newport Beach police officers on bicycles arrived. Gurrola was in possession of six magazines for his handgun, with even more in his car.
He was charged with 54 felony counts of firing a weapon at an inhabited dwelling, 2 counts of assault, plus two firearm enhancements. The reasons for Gurrola’s actions are inconclusive. He reportedly claimed that when he fired his gun, it made him feel better. Police said in 2012 that Gurrola told a detective he fired his gun because he was angry, but was not aiming at anybody.
Although Gurrola’s shots did not strike anybody nor hit the building, the shots could be heard from the inside of the open-air mall. People weren’t sure where the shots were coming from and a stampede ensued. A woman and her daughter were knocked to the ground and injured during the chaos.
The District Attorney was hoping for a 25-year sentence, but Gurrola pleaded guilty to all counts before a plea deal could be arranged. Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue sentenced him to 12 years on the basis of his minor prior criminal record.
Gurrola was also required to pay $354.85 in restitution to the woman and child for medical expenses who suffered injuries during the incident.