INDIO (CNS) – A 19-year-old man suspected of being one of three men involved in a car-to-car shooting in the parking lot of The Shops in Palm Desert earlier this year pleaded not guilty to felony charges Thursday.
Daniel Joseph Santacroce of Desert Hot Springs was charged with four felony counts of attempted murder and one felony count each of shooting at a vehicle and being in possession of a short-barreled rifle or shotgun, according to court records. The victims were identified in court documents only by their initials “A.R.,” “M.R.,” “P.G.” and “G.R.”
He pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Palm Desert station responded around 2 p.m. Feb. 2 to reports of shots fired at the mall in the 72-800 block of Highway 111, according to Sgt. Travis Mountz. Shortly afterward, the sheriff’s station alerted the public that a shooting occurred in the south parking lot of the mall.
“Based on the investigation, it is believed the incident was a car-to- car, gang-related shooting, with over 40 rounds fired,” Mountz said in a statement. “Thankfully, no one was injured during the incident.”
Authorities said the Palm Desert Investigations Bureau and the Riverside County Gang Impact Team served a search warrant Tuesday in the 66000 block of San Remo, where they allegedly found a short-barreled rifle, AR-15 parts and a high-capacity magazine.
Santacroce was arrested and booked into the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio, where he remains held on $1 million bail.
Also accused in the shooting, Adelanto residents Allen Curcio Adams Jr. and Alexander Brice Alvarado, both 20, were charged with four felony counts of attempted murder and one felony count each of shooting at a vehicle dwelling and being a convicted felon and narcotic addict in possession of a firearm, according to court records. They were charged separately earlier this year and are awaiting trial.
After Adams and Alvarado were identified as suspects in the shooting, Investigators and the Riverside County Gang Impact Team served a search warrant in the 11100 block of Hyattsville Street in Adelanto on March 22, according to Mountz.
Following the search, Adams and Alvarado were arrested and later booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, where they remain held without bail.
Anyone with additional information regarding the shooting was encouraged to contact investigator William Hickok at 760-836-1600.
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