A jury was seated Thursday for the trial of a man who was shot multiple times after allegedly pointing a gun at Indio police.
Mario Alberto Soto, 43, is accused of firing off a gun at the Coachella Mobile Home Park on Nov. 13, 2014, prompting a law enforcement response that ended with Soto hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
After police went to the scene and attempted to arrest him for allegedly discharging a gun, Soto fled from officers in a vehicle and on foot, then allegedly pointed a gun at officers.
Soto’s attorney, Leonard Cravens, said his client was fired on 15 times by officers and was struck eight times.
Prosecutors allege that Soto fired off two to three shots at the mobile home park, one of which entered a neighboring home. No one was struck by the gunfire.
Sheriff’s deputies and Indio police who responded to gunfire reports found Soto’s trailer on fire, then saw him drive off in a Ford Mustang, according to the prosecution’s trial brief.
The Mustang was later found abandoned, with a .380-caliber handgun in the rear of the car, the brief states.
Officers later spotted Soto running northbound on Jackson Street and as they approached him, he allegedly produced a handgun from his waistband, prompting them to respond with gunfire, according to police.
Soto is facing charges of brandishing a gun, shooting at an inhabited dwelling and negligent discharge of a firearm. Two counts of assault with a gun were dismissed after his preliminary hearing.
Opening statements in the trial are slated for Friday morning.