RANCHO CUCAMONGA — A fatal shooting outside an Ontario convenience store on Labor Day stemmed from an argument that may have been gang-related, a prosecutor said this week.
Two groups argued at about 2 a.m. Monday outside a Circle K store at 405 N. Vineyard Ave. before at least one gunman opened fire.
Anthony Demitrius Junius, 30, of Azusa was killed, and one of the suspects was shot in the arm, shattering a bone, said Deputy District Attorney Tom Colclough.
Men who were with Junius drove off immediately following the shooting, and the group they argued with gave chase in their own vehicle, Colclough said.
Junius’ group drove back to Azusa, and the suspects’ vehicle returned to the area of the shooting, possibly to pick up men who were left behind when they chased the other vehicle, Colclough said.
Ontario police contacted the suspects and later placed them under arrest. Two guns believed to be used in the shooting were found in their car, Colclough said.
The men arrested in connection with the shooting were Napoleon Dajon Phipps of Fontana and Chris Wilson of Hawthorne, both 27.
The two men wore orange jail scrubs at their arraignment Wednesday in West Valley Superior Court, where they pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder and other criminal charges.
Prosecutors also alleged that Wilson has a prior strike for robbery, which if true will lengthen his prison sentence if he’s convicted in Monday’s shooting.
The defendants cried as they spoke to court-appointed attorneys before the hearing. Wilson, who was shot Monday, had his left arm heavily bandaged.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Michael Libutti set bail for Wilson at $3,325,000, and for Phipps set bail at $3,200,000. Both remained jailed Thursday at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
The men are next due in court Tuesday. A preliminary hearing, in which prosecutors must present evidence for the case to proceed to trial, is scheduled for Sept. 19.
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