There was extraordinary security in the courtroom. 21-year-old Andrew Bologna was brought into the courtroom through a backdoor, guarded by deputies and DA investigators. The courtroom was in tears as he made his heartbreaking testimony. Bologna survived the shooting on June 22, 2008. Now, the star witness testified against Edwin Ramos, the man he says shot and killed his father Tony and his two brothers.
District Attorney George Gascon thanked Bologna for his courage. "He is standing up for what is right and we're very proud of him," he said. Bologna wore a white cap to help hide his identity. Authorities are afraid he could be the target of retaliation from the violent Latin American gang MS-13, of which Ramos was a member.
Bologna said they were all in their father's Honda Civic driving back to their Excelsior District home when a Chrysler 300 blocked their car. Bologna said the car came slowly toward them and stopped right next to their Honda. When Prosecutor Harry Dorfman asked who drove the car, Bologna pointed to Ramos saying, "I seen his face. I seen his hair. I seen his shirt."
Bologna continued, "He stared at dad, gave him a mug, a mean look, and pulled out a gun. It was chrome, silver, a handgun." The young man showed how he saw Ramos holding the gun with his arm stretched across his chest. Bologna continued, "He shot at my dad's window first. I immediately ducked. That was my first instinct." His voice began to quiver as he answered Dorfman's questions. "How many more shots?" he was asked. "More than three," Bologna said.
Many in the courtroom, including his mother Danielle, began crying as he sobbed, "He just shot my family just like that... doesn't make sense." She could not bear it anymore and rushed out of the courtroom. Family friend and spokesperson Marti McKee told ABC7 Danielle was very proud of her son. "His testifying in such an emotional stressful situation just shows his courage and strength to fight for justice for his family," she said.
Defense Attorney Marla Zamora admits Ramos did drive the car, but says a passenger who has since disappeared, fired the fatal shots. "Mr. Ramos did not fire that gun. When you see the position of the gun after my cross examination, I think there's going to be some doubt," she said.
In Zamora's cross examination Wednesday afternoon, she brought up the fact again that Bologna ducked when the shooting started so he could not have positively identified Ramos as the shooter. However, she did admit to ABC7 outside the courtroom later that this will be a difficult case for the defense because of the so-called sympathy card.
Bolonga and his mother are in a witness relocation program and are said to no longer be in the Bay Area.