Ex-Convict Charged with Shooting Gun at Hollywood Farmers Market
LOS ANGELES – Criminal charges have been filed against an ex-con who allegedly fired gunshots near the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, causing the popular establishment to close, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Joseph DeLaCruz, 42, is charged with one count each of shooting into an inhabited dwelling, first-degree burglary with a person present, criminal threats, possession of a firearm by a felon, unlawful possession of ammunition , vandalism causing $400 or more in damage or destruction to property, and grossly negligent discharge of a firearm, according to the district attorney’s office.
DeLaCruz allegedly threatened a woman with a gun on Sunday and then began shooting from the balcony of her apartment in the 1600 block of Cosmo Street, one block east of the intersection of Cahuenga and Hollywood Boulevards, damaging buildings and a vehicle, according to the district attorney’s office. .
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Officers arrived to see the suspect screaming and throwing objects from his apartment balcony, Los Angeles police said. No injuries were reported.
“It is extremely fortunate that no one was harmed in this shameless act of violence,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges against DeLaCruz.
“We cannot tolerate the indiscriminate firing of a gun in an area frequented by so many innocent members of our community. Everyone should be able to enjoy a Sunday morning without fear of being hit by a random bullet.”
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The nearby Hollywood Farmers’ Market was forced to close for the day, posting on its Facebook page: “Due to an emergency near the market, we are closed today July 31. We are pleased that our staff and our vendors are doing well.”
“If you need access to fresh food and produce and can travel, please visit our sister market, the Atwater Village Farmers’ Market,” the post added.
At approximately 9:20 a.m. that day, the LAPD reported that there was an active standoff and a SWAT team was called to the scene for the suspect, who had barricaded himself inside the apartment.
Police confirmed around 11:45 a.m. that the suspect had been taken into custody.
DeLaCruz has remained behind bars since his arrest, according to prison records.