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Friday, 12 June 2009

Notorious World Assassins accused Jose Equihua, 18, of confronting a group of men and firing a handgun at them

Equihua is a member of an Ontario street gang that was initially conceived as a tagging crew, but later became involved in more serious crime associated with violent street gangs, Youngberg said.The gang moniker, "N.W.A.," initially stood for "Nocturnal Wild Artists," but was changed when the group became more violent to "Notorious World Assassins," Youngberg said.Accused Jose Equihua, 18, of confronting a group of men and firing a handgun at them in the area of Fourth Street and Corona Avenue in Ontario.Two people were struck by bullets during the May 8, 2008 incident, but both victims survived their injuries, said Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Youngberg.Equihua and a group of three or four other men were driving around the area the night of the incident apparently looking for a fight, Youngberg said.They came across a group at about 9:30 p.m. who were congregated in an alley south of Fourth Street behind a row of apartment buildings.The men later told police they had just finished watching a Lakers playoffs game and were socializing in the alley.Equihua's group drove up to the men in a truck, and Equihua left the vehicle and confronted the men, Youngberg said.
He asked the men where they were from, and they were nonresponsive. He yelled out the names of several local street gangs and returned to the truck, Youngberg said.When Equihua returned to the truck, the other people with him encouraged him to shoot at the men, Youngberg said.He fired four or five rounds at them, grazing one man's ankle and hitting another man in the arm, Youngberg said.Police identified Equihua as the shooter after officers responded to his home to investigate an unrelated domestic disturbance call, Youngberg said.The officers saw a truck parked at the house that matched witnesses' descriptions of the vehicle used in the alley shooting.When they added Equihua's photo to a "six-pack" lineup of potential shooters and showed it to two witnesses, they identified Equihua as the shooter, Youngberg said. He was arrested on May 30, 2008.As part of his plea bargain, Equihua admitted that he committed the shooting for the benefit of a street gang.
Youngberg said she told the men shot during the incident that Equihua would be offered an 18-year prison sentence, and "they're fine with that


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