In less than months of this year, five people were murdered in Palm Springs, all of them are under the age of 25. That’s already one more than all of last year. The most recent happened on February 3, 2019 around 11:30 at night, what looked like a traffic accident turned out to be a mass shooting, left four people dead: 17-year-old Yuliana Garcia, 18-year-old Juan Duarte, 19-year-old Jacob Montgomery, and 25-year-old Carlos Campos.
“Over the course of this year, which is still fairly is we’ve had some violent incidents occur in the city unfortunately,” says Palm Springs Police Sergeant Michael Casavan.
Nineteen-year-old Jose Larin Garcia of Cathedral City was arrested and is facing four counts of felony murder. Police are still trying to find out what led to the deadly shooting.
“There’s still so many unknowns we don’t have all the answers at this point there’s a lot of questions so we really don’t know what the exact relationship between all the parties were,” says Casavan.
The gang impact team has been involved in the investigation but Casavan says that doesn’t mean the shooting was gang related, “That is just a branch of the district attorney’s office and they help us out anytime there’s some sort of major event.”
The other shooting happened outside of Zelda’s Night Club in January, left a 21-year-old man dead. Police still don’t have a suspect in the case.
“Anybody who was there who may have been hesitant to become a witness we encourage them to help us out and talk to us so we can figure out how this all happened,” says Casavan.
Despite the the alarming number of people shot dead in the city already this year, police don’t believe these murders show a trend.
“We believe they were fairly isolated in nature meaning it’s not something that’s going to reoccur over and over again.”