Gang-Retaliation Shooting Leads to Innocent Bystander’s Tragic Death, Culprit Sentenced to 28 Years

LONG BEACH, California – A man has been sentenced to 28 years to life in state prison for his involvement in the gang-related shooting that resulted in the death of an innocent bystander in Long Beach. Jacquise Wright, 34, was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and shooting from a motor vehicle for the incident that took place on December 4, 2020.

The victim, Alejandra Martinez, a 36-year-old mother of three, was tragically shot and killed in a crossfire situation orchestrated by Wright and his co-defendant, Tyquan Benson. Benson, who had a prior conviction for burglary, was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison last October.

According to Deputy District Attorney Robert Song, Martinez was caught in the line of fire when Wright and Benson opened fire in a parking lot near Magnolia Avenue and Anaheim Street. The shooting took place amidst a confrontation with gang rivals, resulting in Martinez’s untimely death.

Defense attorney George Moyer argued during Wright’s trial that his client did not fire the fatal shot and was attempting to de-escalate the situation. Moyer portrayed Wright as a peacekeeper who was not directly responsible for Martinez’s death.

The Long Beach Police Department stated that the shooting stemmed from a gang-related dispute, with Martinez being an unintended victim of the violence. Thankfully, a female juvenile who was also struck during the incident was able to recover. Wright and Benson were apprehended 2 1/2 months after the shooting and have been in custody since then.

Superior Court Judge James D. Otto acknowledged the differing levels of culpability between Wright and Benson during sentencing, stating that Wright exhibited lesser involvement in the crime. Despite the verdicts, the identity of a third shooter involved in the incident remains unknown.

As the community continues to grapple with the repercussions of this senseless act of violence, the legal system seeks to hold all parties accountable for their roles in the tragedy. The sentences handed down serve as a reminder of the devastating impact of gang-related violence on innocent lives.