FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2015


Media Contact: Curtis T. Hill, Jr. (574) 296-1888

On Thursday, February 12, 2015 Francisco Ambriz-Perez was sentenced to a total of seventeen years in Superior Court 1 for a 2013 shooting near Mary Beck Elementary School. The defendant accepted a plea agreement on October 16, 2014, pleading guilty to Aggravated Battery, a Class B felony, and Dangerous Possession of a Firearm, a Class A misdemeanor.

On October 9, 2013, Juan Hernandez was walking toward his truck with some friends near Mary Beck Elementary School when then 14 year old Francisco Ambriz-Perez opened fire toward the young men. Mr. Hernandez tried to jump into his vehicle, but was struck in the leg by a bullet. Mr. Hernandez did not know Ambriz-Perez, and Ambriz-Perez later stated that he thought he was shooting at someone else. It was determined by officers from the Elkhart Police Department that Ambriz-Perez is associated with the Latin Kings street gang, and this act was intended to target a rival gang member and erroneously targeted Mr. Hernandez.

The defendant was originally charged in Elkhart County’s Juvenile Court on November 1, 2013, but, following a hearing, was waived into Superior Court 1 to face adult charges on December 13, 2013.

At sentencing Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kathleen Gring asked for the maximum sentence, arguing that substantial aggravators, including the defendant’s prior juvenile criminal history, his gang affiliation, and the fact that he not only shot the victim at random but also placed community members, including children playing at the nearby elementary school at risk, called for a higher term. The victim suffered not only immediate injury which cost him lost wages and substantial medical bills, but also long-term injury and pain.

The court sentenced Ambriz-Perez to a total of seventeen years with four years suspended. The court ordered the defendant be placed in the Youth Incarcerated as Adults Unit at the Wabash Correctional Facility, a division of the Indiana Department of Correction. He will be evaluated prior to his eighteenth birthday for potential alternative placement.


“Under Indiana law, all persons arrested for a criminal offense are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”