A gang member who allegedly gunned down a 20-year-old man and wounded his friend in a drive-by attack in Riverside made his initial court appearance Tuesday.
Steven Daniel Carrillo of Riverside was arrested Nov. 10 in connection with the slaying of Derrion Thomas of Rialto.
Carrillo is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder, with a special circumstance allegation of killing for the benefit of a criminal street gang and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
He appeared before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gail O’Rane, who appointed him an attorney and scheduled his arraignment for Dec. 7 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
According to Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback, Carrillo allegedly targeted Thomas and another occupant of a vehicle going through the area of Chicago and University avenues on the night of Oct. 26. Railsback said the victims were passing a car occupied by Carrillo when gunfire erupted.
The defendant allegedly unleashed multiple rounds, striking Thomas in the upper body and the other occupant, whose identity was not disclosed, in one of his legs.
The wounded driver managed to speed out of the Eastside neighborhood but crashed into a utility pole, where witnesses came to the victims’ aid and called 911, Railsback said.
Paramedics arrived within a few minutes and immediately began life-saving measures on Thomas, who was taken with his wounded friend to Riverside Community Hospital, where the Rialto man died a short time later.
The man with the leg wound has since recovered.
There was no indication the victims had gang affiliations. The east end of Riverside, north of UC Riverside and south of downtown, has been plagued by gang violence in the past.
Carrillo was identified as the alleged perpetrator based on unspecified leads, Railsback said.
The defendant, who was taken into custody without incident as he left a residence in the 2300 block of Candlestick Way in Perris, has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.
Carrillo is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
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