Crime

2 men charged with attempted murder in Cathedral City shooting

Suspects are gang affiliated

Details on Sunday's shooting in Cath...

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - 3-8 Update:  Attempted murder charges were filed Wednesday against the two men accused in a shooting in a Cathedral City bar restaurant parking lot that left two men hospitalized.

Santos Franco, 20, of Palm Springs and Felipe Arechiga, 24, of Desert Hot Springs are both charged with two counts of attempted murder stemming from the March 5 shooting outside The Block Sports Bar & Grill. Franco additionally faces a sentence-enhancing firearm use allegation.

March 6 - Violent weekend in the Coachella Valley

It was a violent weekend in the Coachella Valley with three shootings that injured five people in less than 24 hours.

The first incident happened just before 1:45 Sunday morning, after last call inside The Block Sports Bar and Grill located at the intersection of Ramon Road and Date Palm Drive.

"My understanding is that there was some kind of argument that took place inside of the bar at one point in the night. As the bar was getting ready to close, the argument continued outside, turning into a fight and eventually the shooting," Commander Julio Luna, of the Cathedral City Police Department, told KESQ News Channel 3's and CBS Local 2's Katie Widner.

Two men, ages 24 and 25, were shot in the parking lot. An ensuing investigation led to two arrests around 2 Sunday afternoon.

Santos Franco, 20, of Palm Springs and Felipe Arechiga, 24, of Desert Hot Springs were both charged with attempted murder, destroying or concealing evidence, and participating in a criminal street gang. The CCPD said it is not known if the shooting was gang-related. However, both suspects have a prior gang history.

Cathedral City detectives served search warrants at multiple locations and recovered two handguns that are believed to have been used in the shooting, according to a release from Commander Luna.

The victims were transported to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. The extent of their injuries was not made available, however, the CCPD said one of them was expected to be released on Monday. It is not the first time something terrible has happened outside the block.

"The bar does have a bad past, recent past, which I guess can happen at any establishment serving alcohol," Luna said.

In June of 2016, a man was robbed and beaten into a comatose state outside the bar. He eventually died from his injuries.

"It's tough, the area's tough," said bar owner Saul Chavez, who spoke exclusively to KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 on Monday afternoon. "It's been hard for people to even give it a chance because of the history it's had."

Chavez was born and raised in the city and said he named the bar "The Block" as a tribute to the nearby street he grew up on. He said dreamed of it becoming the "Cheers" of the city, like the one in the hit 80's television show.

"I thought I had a chance because I know the community. I know everybody and I'm going to make it fun and we're going to make the food better and everything like that and it's hard because I can't control.. I can't control what people do," Chavez said nearly choking up.

He said he plans to continue to beef-up security at the bar to help keep his loyal patrons safe.

Watch video below to hear from witnesses:

Also on Sunday, one person was shot just before 6 p.m. in Desert Hot Springs. Across the valley, two people were sent to the hospital after a shooting in Indio at 6:45 p.m.


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