Fashion Island Shooter Gets 12 Years in Prison

Mark Sariana Gurrola, 42, Garden Grove, struck a deal with the court over the objections of prosecutors, who wanted an even lengthier sentence.

Mark Sariana Gurrola was sentenced to 12 years for the November 2011 Fashion Island shooting. Photo courtesy of Newport Beach Police Department.
Mark Sariana Gurrola was sentenced to 12 years for the November 2011 Fashion Island shooting. Photo courtesy of Newport Beach Police Department.

Originally posted at 11:43 a.m. April 18, 2014. Updated with new details.

A transient who fired more than 50 rounds at a Newport Beach mall on the day after the Connecticut elementary school massacre, sparking a stampede among Christmas shoppers, pleaded guilty today and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Marcos Sarinana Gurrola accepted a plea bargain from Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue over the objections of Senior Deputy District Attorney Robert Mestman, who had sought a 25-year prison term for the 44-year-old defendant.

Gurrola drove his white Honda Civic, which he was living in at the time, to a parking lot at the sprawling Fashion Island mall on Dec. 15, 2012, about 4:30 p.m. and fired a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun 54 times, Mestman said.

None of the bullets struck the Macy's department store he fired toward, but investigators found bullets outside a nearby apartment building, Mestman said.

After Gurrola's arrest, the one-time security guard told investigators he opened fire at the mall because "that's where the rich people are," Mestman said.

"It was a very crowded Saturday afternoon with Christmas shopping, plus everyone was on edge because of the Newtown shooting," the prosecutor said, referring to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in which Adam Lanza gunned down 20 children and six adults.

A woman and her 4-year-old daughter were injured in the stampede of shoppers trying to leave Fashion Island due to the gunfire, Mestman said. The mother required stitches for a cut on her head and the girl was bruised, he said.

The woman did not want to be in court for the guilty plea today because "she didn't want to relive it," Mestman said.

Gurrola was also suspected of firing 10 rounds at Fashion Island on Nov. 16, 2011, but charges involving that incident were dropped before his preliminary hearing because of insufficient evidence, Mestman said.

--City News Service

Amused April 20, 2014 at 05:53 PM
Angie, Newport IS my back yard and after seeing 6 or 7 cyclist killed by drivers IN Newport I tend to agree with Oldtimer. And he is correct - the average sentance for KILLING someone with a car who is on a bike is 3 years. I never advocated he not be punished but, leave your misplaced anger at the OC District Attys office - not me. Let's face it - once he has been released he will either be on his best behavior or back between bars.
Amused April 20, 2014 at 06:16 PM
Girl up Angie - you said "put him in your backyard" and that was a shot at me. You should be shouting with me, not at me since we obviously feel the same way about the Judge and attys. Let's face it, money that would be well spent to prevent these tragedies never becomes available. Then look at you and your friends behavior about driving and drinking, texting, talking on the phone, eating, doing makeup, shaving, yelling at the kids and dogs and whatever else is DISTRACTING you at the time of the "accident".


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