CHINO — A shooting this month at the Chino Spectrum shopping center reportedly started as a low-level drug transaction.
A buyer and seller sat in a parked car and reportedly haggled over the price of marijuana. Moments later, the alleged drug dealer pulled out a pistol and said, “Sorry man, you’re getting jacked,” another man in the car told police.
A struggle over the weapon followed, and the would-be buyer was shot in the leg and ankle, a witness told police.
The alleged shooter, 20-year-old Christopher Yong O of Ontario, has been charged with attempted murder and attempted robbery for the Nov. 4 incident, and could face a life prison sentence if convicted.
O was in custody during a court appearance this morning in Chino Superior Court, unable to post $1 million bail.
At his next court date on Dec. 21, a judge will consider a request from O to lower his bail or release him from custody with a promise that he will make court appearances.
“My client is obviously extremely, extremely distraught over this accusation,” O’s attorney, Daniel Guerrero, said in an interview today. “We intend to defend Mr. O and in the end the truth will be clearly established that the alleged victims in his case are far from having clean hands.”
At about 2 p.m. the day of the shooting, O sent a text message to his girlfriend saying he “had a terrible night at the casino,” was “pissed,” and planned to “jack somebody,” according to police reports.
The reputed buyer brought his cousin and his girlfriend to the Spectrum the day of the shooting, parked his car near Mimi’s Cafe, and waited at a nearby restaurant for O, according to witnesses.
When O arrived, the buyer and his cousin got into the buyer’s car. Less than a minute later O allegedly opened fire.
One bullet passed through the victim’s left thigh without striking an artery. The victim was also struck in the left ankle, suffering a fractured bone and a severed artery, according to the police report.
The men exited the car, and a struggle over the gun continued. A 9mm pistol dropped to the ground, and O fled the area, witnesses told police.
Investigators determined O’s home address — in the 3200 block of Stallion Street — through his cell phone records. Police discovered O was in the area by tracing the phone’s signal to nearby cell towers.
At about 4:30 p.m., O sent his girlfriend another text message: “Can you call me please emergency.”
Later in the evening, officers staking out O’s home saw a car driven by a young woman arrive. O got in the car and it drove off, and officers pulled the vehicle over at Riverside Drive and Archibald Avenue, according to police reports.
As O sat handcuffed near the site of the traffic stop, the alleged victim arrived and identified him as the shooter, according to police reports.
O initially denied wrongdoing in an interview with police, according to police reports.
When an officer told O he doubted his honesty, O apologized and told the officer “some drug dealers tried to jack me,” and O defended himself, according to police reports.
Later in the conversation, O again modified his statement, telling an officer that “a friend came and helped me out.” O declined to identify his friend, according to police reports.