SAN LUIS OBISPO — San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced Sept. 16 that charges against Francisco Orozco, stemming from the May 4, 2019, shooting at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreational Area (SVRA) were dismissed following additional investigation, forensic testing, and the key witness becoming uncooperative.
The shooting incident took place during an unpermitted concert at the Oceano Dunes SVRA, which was attended by approximately 1,000 individuals from the Oakland area. Just before midnight, gunfire broke out and bullets struck five people. Those hit indicated they did not believe they were targeted. Multiple firearms were located on the scene. It is thought that several individuals may have discharged firearms during the incident. One witness identified Orozco as a shooter, but the witness also expressed an unwillingness to cooperate with any prosecution.
Recent forensic testing results and the key witness’s refusal to cooperate in the prosecution have created significant doubt that it can be proven that Orozco was a shooter. Two firearms believed to have been used in the shooting were subject to DNA testing. The results of that testing excluded Orozco as a match to DNA contained on both guns. Additionally, the witness who had identified Orozco as a potential shooter has refused to cooperate in the prosecution, which means that he would not testify at trial.
“The District Attorney’s Office reviews all cases submitted for filing in light of our ethical duty to first seek the truth and to pursue only those cases which can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Dow. “When new evidence is discovered that creates reasonable doubt as to the guilt of an accused or where the admissible evidence changes so that guilt can no longer be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, it is our obligation to forego prosecution.
“We strongly encourage victims of all crime to report what they have seen and heard to law enforcement and support the prosecution so that we may pursue justice on behalf of the survivors and the community. The success of our justice system depends on the willingness of individuals to stand up and be heard in court,” Dow added.
The District Attorney’s Office Christopher G. Money Victim Witness Assistance Center has provided support to victims of the incident, including referral to outside resources and assistance in applying to the California Victim Compensating Board for payment of medical treatment, mental health counseling or other costs directly associated with their victimization.