A 19-year-old reputed gang member was charged June 30 with capital murder after he allegedly fatally shot two teenagers and wounded another at Penmar Park in Venice last month, a county district attorney spokeswoman said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Michael Anthony Mariscal of Culver City with two counts of capital murder with the special circumstances of multiple murder and to benefit a gang in connection with the June 22 killings of Salvador Diaz, 18, and Alan Mateo, 19, district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
In addition, Mariscal was charged with three counts of attempted premeditated murder, one count of street terrorism and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, Robison said.
He was scheduled to be arraigned June 30 at the Superior Court Airport Courthouse.
Los Angeles police arrested Mariscal at about 11 a.m. June 28 in connection with the murders of Diaz and Mateo, an LAPD spokesperson said. He is currently being held without bail, Robison said.
Police announced the arrest at a community meeting at Penmar Park June 29.
Mariscal allegedly approached a group of teenagers watching a softball game at the park, made gang references and opened fire, striking Diaz, Mateo and another unidentified teen, police said.
Diaz, who had received his diploma from the Venice Emerson Community Adult School only a week prior, was fatally wounded and pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Mateo, a Venice High School senior, was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital, police said. The third victim, a 17-year-old sophomore at Venice High, was wounded in the leg while trying to escape. Two other teens managed to escape without injuries, police said.
The special circumstances murder charges make this a potential death penalty case, and prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty, Robison said.