Jury finds man guilty in 2009 Echo Park gang killing

Echo Park gang graffiti pays tribute to victim Eric Zamarripa

A man working on behalf of the Mexican mafia was found guilty today of two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder  in connection with a March 2009 shooting spree that took place during a Sunday afternoon on the streets of Echo Park and Glassell Park.

The jurors convicted Andre  Upshaw after about four hours of deliberation, according District Attorney spokeswoman Shiara Dávila-Morales. Jurors found special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and active participation in a gang. Deputy District Attorney Rusty Moore said the jury also found true that Upshaw committed the crime to benefit the Mexican Mafia.

Upshaw, who faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 9

The deadly episode was triggered by a feud within the Echo Park gang, according to early police reports.  Upshaw and all the victims had known each other for several years, Moore said.  On Sunday, March 1, 2009, Upshaw, who lived in Pasadena, drove his pick up truck to Echo Park, where he shot and injured William Vargas on Echo Park Avenue near Elysian Elementary School and Fix Coffee. He then drove around the corner and fatally shot Eric Zamarripa, who police have described as a leader and influential member of the gang, outside his Baxter Street home. About 30 minutes later, Uphsaw opened fire and killed Carlos Gonzalez in the 4300 block of Toland Way on the border of Glassell Park and Eagle Rock.

Zamarripa was killed only a few blocks from the home of then councilman and now mayor Eric Garcetti, who heard the barrage of gunfire.  “The calm of that Sunday was ripped apart … when many of us heard the familiar ‘pop-pop-pop’ that sometimes is fire crackers but unfortunately too often is gunfire,” he said during a news conference a few days after the shootings. “As one can imagine, chaos ensued. People running around. Screams.”

Many of Zamarripa’s friends and family disputed police descriptions of him as a gang leader, saying the 38-year-old man was a devoted husband and father who worked as a carpet installer.  “He was part of what I called the ‘carpet mafia,'” one Echo Park resident told The Eastsider in 2009.  “I’m sure he was no angel. But at the same time he was a family man and took care of a whole group of people.”


  1. man, remember the huge eastsider comments war where everyone claimed that this wasn’t gang related? thanks for the follow up.

  2. sounds like one more dirtbag removed from infecting others.

  3. oh, why do we need a gang injunction in echo park….who cares if the mexican mafia has influence here.

  4. I was living at EP and Baxter and remember hearing that whole incident. I just remember hearing screaming and all this suffering. It’s just crazy that people inflict it back and forth when life is hard enough without people deliberately hurting. I realize it’s complicated, and I didn’t grow up here so what do I know. But to me these pussy ass gangs are just really like cheaply manufactured Wal mart bullshit. They are dumb,, broke, untalented, angry cause they can’t comprehend anything, and mean. They are mean sad little fuckers. Thats what I thought when I heard that shit that day. And you know what, I don’t want a gang injunction, cause despite how sad these doughy bitches are, I don;t think anyone should be thrown up against a wall just cause some fucking pig has a personal bone to pick, or thinks every mexican is in one of these circle jerk groups. But fuck those guys for real.

  5. So was andrew upshaw a white man in a hispanic gang? And how does this benefit the mexican mafia?

  6. Thanks what I was thinking. Rare but it happens. Blanco in surreno gangs

  7. The craziest part of the story, ” a bizarre twist, police caught up with the suspected shooter in court. Andrew Upshaw, 33, was waiting Monday to appear before a judge on a single count of felony drug possession when police came into the downtown courtroom with their guns drawn and arrested him.”

    He’s a cold blooded idiot to show up for court after murdering in cold blood.

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