San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that an attempted murder charge has been filed against Juan Diaz Velazco, 19, in connection with a gang shooting that left an innocent 17-year-old female bystander paralyzed. Diaz Velazco is also charged with assault with a firearm and other gun charges. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces 72 years to life in prison. He is being held without bail.
The charges stem from an incident on October 28 in which gang members issued gang challenges to rivals outside of a high school party. Diaz Velazco fired the first shots which hit and paralyzed an innocent girl, who was a high school cheerleader. Diaz Velazco was ultimately apprehended after a multiweek extensive investigation conducted by the San Diego Police Department and District Attorney’s Office Gang Units.
“This case demonstrates the destructive consequences of gang violence on neighborhoods and people who want to live in peace,” DA Stephan said. “We will keep fighting to make our neighborhoods safe and hold criminals accountable.”
Diaz Velazco will be in court again on December 12 for a readiness hearing and on December 15 for a preliminary hearing.
This case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kyle Sutterley.