A Bellflower man pleaded not guilty Thursday in connection with a gang-related shooting at the Del Amo Fashion Center that left one man injured.
Jose Manuel Salazar, 18, is charged with one count each of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with violation of probation, with allegations that he personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that the crimes were committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
The shooting occurred a little before 3 p.m. June 3 at the Torrance shopping mall, which was locked down and surrounded by officers who searched unsuccessfully for the gunman.
Madrona Middle School, which is near the mall, was also placed on lockdown amid concerns the suspect may have gotten out of the shopping center and run in the direction of the campus.
Video posted on Facebook showed the 22-year-old shooting victim being cared for by people inside the mall just north of the food court on the main level, outside a Build-A-Bear Workshop and Finish Line athletic apparel store.
Salazar remained on the lam for nearly a month. When he was arrested about 1:15 a.m. June 29 after a traffic stop by Redondo Beach police, he provided police with a false name, according to Torrance police Sgt. Ronald Harris, who said the suspect was “positively identified” during the booking process.
He is due back in a Torrance courtroom Aug. 8, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.
Salazar could face a potential 47-year-to-life state prison sentence if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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