Man Charged with Murder in Desert Hot Springs Shooting

Ceci Partridge

(CNS) – A 42-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting a man in Desert Hot Springs was charged with murder Wednesday.

Oscar Ernesto Canas was additionally charged with one felony count of assault with a gun, according to court records.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at the Larson Justice Center in Indio Wednesday afternoon.

Canas is suspected in a shooting that occurred around 7:40 a.m. Friday in the 13500 block of Mountain View Road in Desert Hot Springs, where a man identified in court documents as Johnnie M. was found suffering from a gunshot wound, according to Detective Sgt. Christopher Saucier from the Desert Hot Springs Police Department. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was not immediately known what prompted that shooting.

Saucier said Canas was located around 12:10 p.m. Friday in Sky Valley, where members of a Gang Task Force attempted to take him into custody. It was unclear what occurred during that confrontation, but Saucier said at least one shot was fired, and Canas was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

It was also unclear if he was hit by gunfire or injured in some other way. There was no word on how many shots were fired nor what prompted the gunfire.

Canas was treated for minor injuries and was later booked into the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio, where he was being held without bail.

Amy McKenzie with the Riverside County District Attorney’s office told City News Service the shooting involved a D.A. investigator from the Riverside County Gang Impact Team, led by the D.A.’s Bureau of Investigation. She added that a firearm was recovered at the scene.

No other information was immediately available. There were no reports of any injuries to officers.

Anyone with information on the Sky Valley shooting involving the gang task force was asked to call Master Investigator Nelson Gomez from the sheriff’s Force Investigations Detail Task Force at 951-955-2777.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

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