A 26-year-old Somerton man arrested in connection to a series of three drive-by shootings that happened minutes apart Friday night has been charged with 11 felony offenses.
Appearing in person with a public defender by his side in South County Justice Court Thursday morning, Eduardo Romero-Gonzalez was informed by Justice of the Peace Juan Guerrero that a criminal complaint had been filed against him.
Gonzalez, who police said is a known gang member, was charged with three counts of drive-by shooting, four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and four counts of endangerment.
In addition to ordering that Gonzalez’s bond remain at $500,000, Judge Guerrero also scheduled his next court appearance for 2 p.m. on Aug. 23 for a preliminary hearing.
Gonzalez was taken into custody Monday afternoon when officers from the Somerton Police Department executed a search warrant at a residence located at 821 S. Columbia Avenue. The U.S. Marshals Service, Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Cocopah Tribal Police, and Somerton Animal Control units also assisted with the service of the warrant.
According to Somerton police, officers began receiving reports of shots being fired in several areas of the city at approximately 10 p.m., with officers being dispatched 17 minutes later to the 100 block of East Cano Street to interview a woman whose car had been shot while she was driving in the area.
When officers arrived at the location, they found multiple spent casings in the middle of the street. There were three adult victims in the car at the time, a 19-year-old female, a 47-year-old female and a 20-year-old male. No injuries were reported.
Officers were also dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of East Spring Street at 10:19 p.m. in response to a woman reporting that her house had been shot at several times. Police said she was injured from shattered glass from a windshield struck by gunfire.
The third and final shooting was reported at approximately 10:29 p.m. when a woman called from her residence saying that her vehicle was shot while she had been traveling north on Somerton Avenue, across from Somerton Middle School.
Gonzalez’s younger brother, Gerardo Aaron, is also being sought as a suspect and may have fled to Mexico, police said. There were two other individuals in the car with the Gonzalez brothers who have yet to be identified and are possibly suspects as well.
It is believed that most of the victims in the shootings were randomly chosen, but police think at least one of them was specifically targeted. In all there was a combined total of eight victims in the incidents, including a 2-year-old child.
Somerton police have also stated that Friday’s drive-by shootings may be related to a shooting that happened the week before in the 100 block of S. Joshua.