MILWAUKEE — Two people have been criminally charged in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old Angel Ortega at Kaña nightclub near 5th and National early Saturday, August 26th. Two others were hurt.
25-year-old Omar Estrada and 24-year-old Jose Sanchez each face three charges:
- First degree reckless homicide, as party to a crime, use of a dangerous weapon
- First degree reckless injury, as party to a crime, use of a dangerous weapon
- First degree recklessly endangering safety, as party to a crime, use of a dangerous weapon
According to a criminal complaint, early Saturday, police were dispatched to Kaña, where Ortega was found lying on the floor. A bar patron was performing life-saving measures, which were ultimately unsuccessful. Ortega was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy revealed he suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.
Another male shooting victim suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen, and had to have surgery. A female victim met with police at the hospital and said she was hurt during the shooting as she ran to her car, parked outside Kaña. She suffered a gunshot wound to her arm.
The complaint indicates six spent casings for a .380 caliber handgun were located outside Kaña. Three were in front of the building, and three were in the parking lot. Five casings for a .45 caliber handgun were found in the parking lot.
Investigators spoke with numerous bar patrons who saw the shooting happened. One said two groups of men got into an argument over something that happened on the dance floor, and two men were ejected by the bouncers. One, later identified via a photo lineup as Jose Sanchez, then went to a vehicle and retrieved a handgun. Shortly thereafter, Ortega and another person exited the bar, and the witness said he saw Sanchez fire the gun towards Ortega.
Another witness said he saw two shooters. He said after Sanchez fired, Sanchez drove away in a vehicle, and Estrada then shot the second victim. The complaint indicates after that, Estrada tried to run towards the car Sanchez was in, but it was already moving, so Estrada ran down the street. Eventually, Sanchez’s vehicle made a U-turn, according to this witness, and came back towards Estrada.
It does not appear Estrada and Sanchez are in custody. Online court records show the criminal complaint was issued Monday, August 28th, along with warrants for the two.
Ortega’s family members on Monday spoke out about his death — and said they blame security at Kana.
“I feel like part of me is gone. I lost my baby,” Ernestina Ortega said.
“We are together trying to stick together, keep our heads up for him,” Esperanza Ortega, Angel’s sister said.
Experanza Ortega said her brother’s death has rocked the family.
“It’s like, a big loss. We never imagined we would lose someone so young,” Esperanza Ortega said.
Police said the triple shooting happened around 1:45 a.m. Saturday at Kaña. Cell phone cameras captured the moment shots rang out.
“Said a fight broke off in the VIP section and people started shooting. I had a gut feeling something was wrong,” Andres Delgado, Angel Ortega’s brother said.
Delgado said he and his brother went to the club on Friday night, and claimed he was turned away because of the dress code, but as for 20-year-old Ortega…
“Both of them moved, just like this, and my brother walked straight in,” Delgado said.
“If they actually did their job and ID’d him, then they would have found out that he didn’t even have an ID on him. If they did their job and searched, they would have found a weapon,” Marcos Delgado said.
Angel Ortega’s family is now remembering a young man who they say was happy and loved to laugh.
Family members gathered for a vigil Monday evening in Ortega’s honor. There, Ortega’s father said he’s trying to be strong for his family, and he’s seen an outpouring of support from everyone who knew his son.
“It’s been real hard. Right now it’s just crying non-stop. Non-stop,” Heriberto Coronado said.
Coronado said he raised Angel Ortega since he was one.
“I have really good memories of everything we had together. It is still hitting us hard,” Coronado said. “Why they would let him go into a place that is supposed to be enforced with security and have people ID’d? He was a real nice guy. Everybody loved him. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”
Meanwhile, the family has established a GoFundMe.com account to help with funeral expenses.
Ortega was one of eight children, so donations are needed.