DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - A violent and dangerous day in Desert Hot Springs. Two shootings and a police chase all took place within a mile of each other, and all in less than three hours. The incidents left one man in the hospital and another in custody.
Desert Hot Springs police officers began searching a red car after a blown tire ended a short chase through a neighborhood on Desert View Avenue, just after 6:30PM on Wednesday. "They ordered him to put them behind his back, behind his head, pulled him out of the car, had him out of the car, handcuffed him," said Arthur Jones, who witnessed the chase.
Officers arrested the driver, Cortez Hinton. DHSPD says witnesses allegedly saw the car leave the scene of a shooting just two hours before, a few blocks away on Cayumaca drive.
A man was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his lower body. He is expected to live. All of this in broad daylight in neighborhoods where several children live.
"As you know, it's early in the afternoon, kids are out playing, and it's a dangerous situation," said Sergeant Jose Guerrero from Desert Hot Springs PD.
Just an hour before the shooting, officers were called out to a shots fired call around 3:45 on the same street where the pursuit ended. Someone shot at a housing complex, but no one was hit. It's unknown if the two are connected.
Neighbors say it's unfortunately become a common occurrence.
"Shooting for like six months, like every night, like every three or four days they were shooting out of it," said Wayne Price.
In January, 19-year-old Darnaiel Patterson was shot and killed at the same complex, leaving his mother to plead for justice. His death and the more recent gun fire in the area, leaving parents to questions the safety of their kids.
"Now with all the shooting and everything I have to keep my daughter way back in the yard here, don't even bring her out to the front because of everything that's going on," said Price.
The police department says it's too early to say if the violence is gang-related. Whatever the reason, residents just want it to stop, so they can stop living in fear.
"You know they're up to no good, so we don't even come out much at nighttime," said Price. "This street is dead. I want to be able to live in a nice place, what can you do?"