Suspect in possibly gang-related attempted murder appears in court

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: March 13, 2013, 7:07 PM

 

A 30-year-old man appeared Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of a possibly gang-related shooting Jan. 26 at downtown Vancouver’s EconoLodge.

Angelino L. Pena is scheduled to be arraigned March 27 on a charge of second-degree attempted murder. Judge David Gregerson set his bail at $500,000. Vancouver attorney Gregg Schile was appointed to defend him.

The male victim, whose age and city of residence were not revealed in court records, was shot in the head but survived his injuries.

Pena and the victim reportedly know each other from the association with Vancouver’s Norteno street gang. Pena is accused of visiting Room 212 at the hotel, 601 Broadway, while armed with a semiautomatic firearm.

Threats, arguments

A probable cause affidavit states:

Pena made threats and argued with the victim about the victim’s cousin. Due to his significant injuries, the victim doesn’t remember what happened after that.

The night of the shooting, Elena Espinoza, who paid for the hotel room, asked a male friend to pick up Pena in his vehicle and bring him to the hotel. Before the friend dropped Pena off a short distance from the hotel, Pena threatened him and Espinoza.

“You never saw me tonight; get the (expletive) out of here,” Pena told them.

The friend then called another friend, who was in the room, to warn him that Pena was entering the room with a gun.

The other friend was asleep and awoke to the sound of gunshots in the room, according to the affidavit. He saw the victim fall face down, “motionless with blood pooling around his face and head.”

Pena then told the witness to “scram.”

Court records indicate no one called 911 for 10 hours.

Espinoza, who eventually called 911, reportedly gave inconsistent stories about what happened. Vancouver police indicated in the affidavit that they believe she was trying to provide an alibi for Pena.

She was charged March 8 with rendering criminal assistance.

Pena was arrested Tuesday on a warrant in the 3100 block of Bridge Street.

Pena has a significant criminal history, including assault with a deadly weapon, malicious mischief, harassment, robbery and weapons violations.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts;http://facebook.com/ColTrends;paris.achen@columbian.com.