A 30-year-old man out of prison on early release was wounded in Cathedral City today in what police believe was an exchange of car-to-car gunfire with rival gang members.
Officers were dispatched to the area of San Antonio Drive and San Jose
Road after police in neighboring Palm Springs heard numerous shots being fired around 2:30 a.m., Cathedral City police Sgt. Corwin de Veas said.
They found the victim, identified as Jacob Thomas Delon Garcia of
Cathedral City, at Gene Autry Drive and San Jose Drive with multiple gunshot
wounds, he said. The stolen Camaro he was driving was riddled with bullet
holes, he said.
At San Antonio Drive and San Jose Road, they found multiple shotgun and
handgun shell casings. "It appeared the `victim' had an encounter with subjects in another car," De Veas said.
A home occupied by a family with young children was hit by bullets
possibly fired by the wounded man, but no one inside was wounded. Bullets did pierce the walls, he said.
When police found Garcia, he proclaimed his gang affiliation, refused to
answer questions and would not admit he had been armed, De Veas said. Garcia was released early from prison after serving time for drug possession, being a felon in possession of firearm, running a chop shop and being convicted of a subsequent felony within five years of a prior conviction, he said.
His rap sheet includes convictions for burglary, vandalism, firearm
possession, possession of stolen property, vehicle theft and parole violations,
among other crimes, De Veas said.
The Camaro was reported stolen from Inglewood, he said.
Police planned to book Garcia on suspicion of vehicle theft and
possession of stolen property upon his release from a hospital, De Veas said.