LONG BEACH, Calif. – Two cousins pleaded not guilty Monday to charges stemming from a December shooting in Wilmington that left a 12-year-old boy dead and a woman and a girl injured.
Damian Martinez, 21, and Gabriel Martinez, 19, of Wilmington, are charged with one count each of murder and attempted murder, along with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
They are due back in court Dec. 6, when a date will be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for them to stand trial on the charges.
The shooting occurred Dec. 6 at Denni Street and Blinn Avenue near Wilmington Park Elementary School, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police said the suspects approached an SUV and opened fire, striking the 30-year-old driver, her 12-year-old passenger Alexander Alvarado, and a 9- year-old girl who was on the playground at the nearby school.
After the shooting, the woman in the SUV managed to drive a short distance away, stopping at North Eubank Avenue near East Anaheim Street, where she and the boy were found by authorities, police said.
Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene, while the woman and girl both survived.
Alexander’s mother, Jenny Romero, said last year the wounded woman — her wife — and Alexander had just picked up Romero’s 10-year-old son from school. The younger boy was in the SUV when the shooting occurred, but was not injured. Romero said two people “popped out of nowhere” and one of them opened fire at the SUV.
A motive for the shooting was not known, according to the LAPD.