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Gang member, 17, charged as an adult with murder of infant

Evidence justifies four counts, Zaragoza to be tried as adult, San Mateo County DA's office says

A 17-year-old boy suspected of fatally shooting a 3-month-old baby in East Palo Alto early Sunday was arraigned in San Mateo County Superior Court this afternoon.

Fabian Zaragoza, who has been charged with murder as an adult, appeared in court wearing a yellow jumpsuit, with his hair in two long braids. He did not enter a plea, and was referred to the public defender's office for representation.

The victim's parents, Ivonne Garcia Lopez and Oscar Jimenez, were present in courtroom and sat surrounded by family during the proceedings.

Garcia Lopez sat in a wheelchair and wept.

Both parents were wounded in the shooting, which happened as they left a baby shower on Wisteria Lane at about 1 a.m. Their infant son, Izack Jesus, was shot in the head and later died at Stanford Hospital, according to East Palo Alto police.

Investigators believe Zaragoza and another person fired shots at the family after mistaking them for Sureno gang members who had beaten up Zaragoza in Redwood City on May 31.

In addition to murder, Zaragoza has been charged with the special circumstance of lying in wait, two counts of attempted murder with the infliction of great bodily injury, and use of a firearm in the commission of the crimes, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.

He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted, Guidotti said.

Zaragoza, who is being held without bail in a juvenile detention facility, is scheduled to return to court on June 15 to enter a plea.

Zaragoza, who police said is a known gang member, was taken into custody Sunday afternoon on weapons charges and later implicated himself in the shooting when he was questioned by investigators, acting police Capt. Jeff Liu said.

Guidotti said the DA's office has asked that a booking photo not be released at this time, as the case is still under investigation.

A memorial fund to help with Izack's funeral expenses, "Izack Jesus Jimenez Garcia memorial fund account," has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank and is accessible at any branch. The account number is 6836571460.

The family has invited the public to the services scheduled on Thursday (June 9) at the Crippen and Flynn Woodside Chapel, located at 400 Woodside Road, Redwood City. The service is scheduled between 5 p.m. and midnight.

Related coverage:

VIDEO: Mother of slain infant speaks out

17-year-old arrested for infant's homicide

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