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Suspects arrested in drive-by shooting appear in court
Three alleged gang members arrested Tuesday night after gunfire was exchanged between two vehicles near Kennedy Park were in Yuma Justice Court Wednesday.
Marlee Cahoe, 19, Adrian Covarrubias, 18, and Gabriel Lugo, 19, appeared before Judge Gregory S. Stewart to learn what charges they may be facing if the prosecution files a formal complaint in the next two days.
Cahoe is facing one felony for allegedly organizing and or managing a street gang. She attempted to hide her face from media cameras with her hair and her hand as she was addressed by Judge Stewart, and answered meekly when questioned.
Covarrubias is facing three felonies for allegedly organizing and/or managing a street gang, threatening or intimidating with a gang and possession and/or use of drug paraphernalia.
Lugo is facing one felony for allegedly organizing and or managing a street gang.
Each received a bond for $50,000 and, if able to post bail, was ordered by Stewart not to possess any dangerous weapons, contact the alleged victims or be involved in gang activity. In addition, each must observe a mandatory curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The amount of their bond, in addition to the charges they face, may change as pretrial proceedings continue and charges are either added or dismissed. The three will appear again in court at 1 p.m. Friday.
Julio Rodriguez-Diaz, 15, was also arrested in connection to the incident and was booked into Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center. He faces one felony for allegedly participating in a criminal street gang.
According to the Yuma Police Department, two vehicles occupied by alleged gang members had an altercation in the 1100 block of East 23rd Street Tuesday evening.
The vehicles then continued to Kennedy Park, 2251 S. Kennedy Lane, where the altercation concluded when one or more occupants in one or both vehicles exchanged gunfire just before 9 p.m. No injuries or damage to the surrounding area were reported.
Police later found one of the vehicles they believed to have been involved in the shooting traveling in the 2800 block of Pacific Avenue and conducted a traffic stop.
Cahoe, Covarrubias, Lugo and Rodriguez-Diaz were detained during the traffic stop and later arrested, but one person exited the vehicle and ran from police.
YPD, with aid from the Border Patrol and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers, cordoned off the area behind the Walmart on Pacific Avenue, including the Yuma Bark Park, several blocks in the adjacent neighborhood and the park at Winsor Avenue and 32nd Street. Many of the law enforcement officers were equipped with assault rifles.
The law enforcement agencies used working dogs to sniff for the person who had escaped, as well as thermal imaging and night vision equipment. However, the person managed to elude the dragnet and remained on the loose as of Wednesday afternoon. The person's identity was not disclosed by police Wednesday.
The occupant or occupants in the other vehicle involved in the shooting, which is described as a white Jeep SUV, had not been located as of Wednesday afternoon.
YPD encourages anyone with information about this shooting to call them at 373-4700, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.