A 75-year-old Rancho Mirage resident arrested by a SWAT team after a nearly six-hour standoff in which he allegedly fired a rifle at sheriff’s personnel pleaded not guilty Wednesday to three felony charges.
Eugene Mueller is charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, with a firearm enhancement allegation, and two counts of shooting at an occupied vehicle. He could face 24 years behind bars if convicted as charged, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Mueller is accused of holing up inside a home in the 100 block of Capri Street around 9:30 a.m. last Saturday and firing a weapon multiple times while law enforcement officers were on scene. No injuries were reported during the standoff, which ended around 3 p.m., according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies were initially called to the scene in response to reports of gunfire.
“Upon arrival, deputies confirmed the sound of gunshots, surrounded a residence where the shots originated from and attempted to make contact with the occupant,” as did SWAT team members who arrived later, according to a sheriff’s statement.
Mueller is being held at the Larry D. Smith Correctional facility in Banning in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to jail records. He is expected back in court for a felony settlement conference on June 3.