http://www.contracostatimes.com/crime/ci_11538140Friends and family of two young men shot dead cried, gasped and shook with anger as the killer taunted them at a court hearing where a judge sent him to prison for life.
"If God didn't want to take your kids to heaven, they would still be here," Daniel Ruiz, 28, told the courtroom filled with more people than seats. "Get over it."
Ruiz pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder for killing David Gregory, 18, of Hercules, and Darren Kretchmar, 21, of Pinole, at Fernandez Park on July 30, 2005. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder for wounding Richard Male, of Pinole, and to an enhancement that the crimes were committed for the benefit of a street gang.
Police said the victims were innocent bystanders Ruiz killed because they wore red shirts, the color of a rival gang.
Gregory's mother said her son's last words were, "Wait, no, it's not like that." Kathleen Gregory said, "I can't believe someone was so heartless to kill two young kids over a stupid color."
Turning to Ruiz, she said, "I hope you rot in hell."
"Ha, ha, ha, thanks Mrs. Gregory," Ruiz answered.
When allowed to make his own statement, he apologized to his own family but showed no remorse for the killings.
No statement was made by Teresita Rodriguez, 23, who pleaded guilty to being an accessory in the shooting. She was sentenced to three years probation and a three-year suspended prison sentence.
Ruiz said he is happy and looking forward to a life in prison that would be safer than if he stayed in West County.
"I can still see my kids grow up," Ruiz said. —This is almost a gift to me. God bless me, I'm alive and well."
Someone in the audience shouted: "You should be dead."
From August 2005:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AGD7E23381.DTLA San Pablo gang member shot and killed two young men on a busy footpath in downtown Pinole because one of them was wearing a color claimed by a rival street gang, authorities said.
But the victims, 18-year-old David Gregory of Hercules and 21-year-old Darren Kretchmar of Pinole, weren't in a gang. Gregory was simply wearing a red shirt.
Ruiz, who has a criminal record and extensive gang tattoos, is a member of the Sureño gang, which claims the color blue and is in a long, bloody rivalry with the Norteños, who claim red.
Ruiz and a young woman, who were arm in arm, walked up to the victims and two other friends as they drank beer under a wooden train trestle just outside Fernandez Park, a city gathering place. Kretchmar lived nearby.
Ruiz said to Gregory, "What's up, homey?" and then almost immediately opened fire with a .380-caliber handgun. He shot Gregory in the head from close range, then shot Kretchmar twice in the head, and finally shot 19-year-old Richard Male of Pinole in the upper body, puncturing a lung, Jewett said.
Ruiz, who is also charged with attempted murder for shooting Male, was soon arrested while trying to hide in a nearby backyard.
Ruiz had been carrying a photograph of a Sureño member who had been killed recently and appears to have killed Gregory and Kretchmar -- who were strangers -- in retaliation.
And the murders family spoke in 2005 too!
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AGD7E22N01.DTLThe older brother of a gang member accused of fatally shooting two men -- allegedly because one was wearing red, a color claimed by a rival gang -- said he can't believe his brother, a construction worker and father of three, is capable of such a brutal act.
"Justice will be served," said Vincent O'Campo, brother of Daniel Ruiz. "They will find the person who did this."
Outside the courtroom, O'Campo, 39, acknowledged that his brother has been in the Sureño gang, which claims the color blue.
Ruiz has past convictions for assault, drunken driving and spousal battery, and faces pending charges of vandalism, battery and drug possession, court records show. In November 2000, he cold-cocked a surgeon who had just removed his wisdom teeth.
Darren Kretchmar's MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darren510
Sorry I coudn't find the pic of this creep. maybe the mug fairy will deliver one.