Alleged Oceano Dunes mass shooter makes first court appearance
An Oakland man accused of injuring six people in an early morning shooting at the Oceano Dunes pleaded not guilty in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Thursday, while his newly obtained lawyer claimed officials have the wrong man.
Francisco Orozco, 19, is charged with attempted murder as well as to five charges of assault with a semi-automatic firearm stemming from the May 5 incident at an unpermitted Cinco de Mayo concert.
The District Attorney Office’s complaint lists a John Doe as the target of the attempted murder, and five other victims for the assault charges, four of whom suffered great bodily injury, the filing states.
Orozco retained San Luis Obispo defense attorney Guy Galambos in court Thursday.
“Francisco Orozco was not the shooter,” Galambos wrote in an email. “When law enforcement arrived, they found a very chaotic situation, hundreds of possible witnesses were leaving the location, trampling through the crime scene.”
Galambos said the first several witnesses gave conflicting reports, some saying the shooter was a male, some saying the shooter was a female, some saying there was more than one shooter.
“Although police interviewed over 25 witnesses, only one witness reported Mr. Orozco as the shooter and none of the other witnesses corroborated him,” Galambos wrote, adding that his client has a clean criminal record. “He grew up in the Oakland area, but he is not a gang member.
“He has worked full time as a union roofer for over two years. The police arrested the wrong man, and I’m confident that when all of the evidence comes in, Francisco will be cleared.”
Orozco remains in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail, according to court records. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison, according to the criminal complaint.
He is accused of opening fire with a semiautomatic handgun into a crowd of people gathered at about midnight on May 5 at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area for a large-scale campground concert.
Six people were injured, authorities say; each have since been released from the hospital. Orozco was arrested later in the day.
The concert, The Tribune previously reported, was not permitted and state officials would not answer questions about whether rangers knew of the event or several alleged fights in the crowd that a witness described to KSBY-TV.
The District Attorney’s Office has said that its Christopher G. Money Victim Witness Assistance Center is providing free help to witnesses of the shooting who are seeking counseling and or other services.
Orozco is due back in SLO Superior Court for a scheduling hearing June 19.