Suspected Cathedral City Gang Member Faces Attempted Murder in Shooting

Taylor Martinez

INDIO – A 19-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday to attempted murder and other charges stemming from a shooting in Cathedral City that police say involved some of the same suspected gang members accused in another shooting hours before that left a man dead and his 11-year-old daughter wounded.

Ethan Bravo, of Cathedral City, was arrested April 1 for allegedly firing several shots at an occupied home in the 33300 block of Wishing Well Trail on March 24 about 2 a.m., according to Cathedral City Police Department Cmdr. Paul Herrera.

The investigation into that shooting yielded “witnesses and physical evidence”  that connected back to another shooting reported seven hours before, less than three miles away, police said.

Bravo is not specifically charged in connection with that shooting, which was reported on March 23 about 6:40 p.m. in the 29000 block of Avenida La Vista.

Police said a shooter approached the front door of a house and began firing as 43-year-old Ruben Hernandez stood in the doorway and his daughter stood nearby. Hernandez died at the scene, and paramedics took his wounded daughter to a hospital. Police said then that her vital signs were stable, but an update on her condition was unavailable.

Hernandez was “not involved in criminal activity,” according to police.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office on April 1 filed charges against four men ages 18 to 23, who are accused of being members of the same Cathedral City-based gang involved in both shootings.

Only two of the four men had been arrested as of Monday morning — Bravo and Jose Sanchez-Casas, who previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. He’s accused of being the getaway driver in the first shooting.

Bravo is charged with attempted murder in connection with the second shooting, with sentence-enhancements for allegedly using a firearm in the commission of a felony and committing a felony for the benefit of a criminal street gang. He is also charged with possessing prescription pills for sale.

Bravo, who was out on bail at the time of his arrest on an unrelated weapons charge, was scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. He’s being held at the Indio jail, with bail set at $1 million.

The other two suspects remain on the lam, and are possibly together, police say.

Indio resident Gabriel Hernandez, 22, is accused of firing the shots that killed the Cathedral City father and wounded his daughter. The trio share a last name but are not related, police said. Hernandez was also out on bail in the same unrelated weapons case as Bravo.

Joel Casas, 18, of Cathedral City, who is Jose’s brother, is being sought on suspicion of being an accessory to murder. Police declined to provide specifics on his alleged connection to Hernandez’s killing.

Updated: 4/6/20 16:40 with not guilty plea.

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