Police officials said there were dozens of people inside the club at the time of the shooting.
The vaccines may have started rolling out but the threat of COVID is still very real. It's only natural for establishments open for business to expect their guests to follow the rules for everyone's safety. But three maskless men who chose to risk the lives of everyone around them didn't think it was a big deal.
At the Sahara Theater in Anaheim, California, during the early-morning hours on Halloween, three men were repeatedly asked to put on their masks. The strip club was simply following the coronavirus guidelines of the state but the three men, aged between 20 and 34, refused to comply. Ultimately, the club had no choice but to ask them to leave. And when they refused to do so, the men had to be physically removed from the property. Insulted and infuriated at being kicked out, the three men returned to the club with an AK-47 and shot the place up, injuring three people.
Two men were kicked out of a California strip club when they refused to wear masks. They returned with an AK-47 and shot 15 rounds, injuring three. https://t.co/iD5f69IlHk— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) December 22, 2020
Edgar Nava-Ayala, 34, Daniel Juvenal Ocampo, 22, and Juan Jose Acosta-Soto, 20, were kicked out of the club, only to come back, armed with a gun. However, according to The Washington Times, their intention was not to head back into the club but to shoot from outside the establishment, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Monday, as per a press release. The irate trio then fired about 15 shots into the club, wounding two employees and a customer.
One victim needed surgery due to their injuries while another had a shattered shoulder blade, District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. The three young men have been arrested by the police on Thursday. They have pleaded not guilty but are being held on $5 million bail each. Out of the three men, Nava-Ayala and Ocampo are facing charges including three counts of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation. If convicted, they could face up to life in prison, Spitzer said.
Acosta-Soto was charged with three counts of assault with an assault weapon and shooting into an occupied building, and if convicted, he could face more than 17 years in prison. Police officials said there were dozens of people inside the club at the time of the shooting. “It’s nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed,” Anaheim police Sgt. Shane Carringer said. “There were over 30 people in there and these guys are suspected of indiscriminately firing at innocent bystanders with a high-powered rifle.”
The three victims got away with minor injuries that weren't life-threatening. A fourth member was allegedly injured but refused medical assistance at the crime scene. Investigators tried their best to identify the suspects and worked "nonstop" to do so. The cops were surprised to notice that none of them had a criminal record prior to the attack on Halloween day, Carringer said. “In Anaheim, this is as close as we’ve gotten to a mass shooting,” Carringer said.