The man who fired a gun in Galleria Mall last November was sentenced Wednesday.
Michael Perez-Rodriguez is sentenced to three years probation and must pay fees, and more than $1,800 in restitution to the victims. Perez-Rodriguez also has to complete 100 hours of community service and will not be able to apply for gun permits or concealed carry permits. He previously has given up his weapons.
On November 26, 2017, Perez-Rodriguez fired his gun inside the mall on a busy shopping day. He and his family fled the mall. No one was shot, but a woman and her 12-year-old son suffered minor injuries to their legs as a result of the gunfire.
The mall had to be evacuated and thoroughly searched, resulting in a large police presence. Investigators released surveillance video to ask for the public's help in identifying the people they believed were involved in the incident. Perez-Rodriguez later turned himself in.
"My client obviously has great remorse for putting everybody, the community, the mall, and obviously the victims through what he did," said defense attorney John Ingrassia.
Perez-Rodriguez told the court he was "gravely disappointed" in himself for what transpired.
The judge scolded Perez-Rodriguez for carelessness and not taking immediate responsibility, noting that Perez-Rodriguez's change from bearded in surveillance video to clean-shaven at his first court appearance was to avoid recognition. But the defense attorney says the change came out of fear.
"Law enforcement might come and actually not so much apprehend him, but perhaps bring harm from their fear that he was an active shooter or what have you," said Ingrassia.
Prosecutors say the gun discharge was "unintentional but reckless." They note after Perez-Rodriguez turned himself in, he cooperated by giving statements, voluntarily handing in his firearms and helping with the investigation. At sentencing, the prosecutor read a statement from the mother injured last year, noting the trauma and this incident caused her family.
Perez-Rodriguez was originally charged with two counts of assault and one count reckless endangerment, but that was lessened to one misdemeanor reckless endangerment count as part of an agreement between the defense and Orange County District Attorney's office.