A 21-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges in the shooting of six men and one woman Monday outside a taqueria in Salinas, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office. Giovanni Pacheco entered the plea to three counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder at his arraignment Wednesday in Superior Court in Salinas, Managing Deputy District Attorney Chuck Olivis said. The three murder charges include special circumstances allegations because a gun was used in the homicides, Olivis said. Pacheco’s next appearance in court is scheduled for Aug. 16, when a judge will set a date for a preliminary hearing, Olivis said. Salinas police arrested Pacheco on Monday afternoon, hours after the suspect allegedly fired a handgun into a crowd at the Taco’s Choice eatery at 608 Williams Road, police said. Officers responded to report of a shooting at 1:38 a.m. Monday that started after a fight involving some field workers inside the restaurant spilled into the parking lot, Shaw said. Two men shot in the attack died at the scene and another man died in a hospital that afternoon.
The murder victims have been identified as Victor Ortiz Andrade, 22, Alejandro Lorenzo Hernandez, 25, and Edgar Garcia Salinas, 28, according to Salinas police Cmdr. Dave Crabill. Four others who were wounded, two 25-year-old men, a 53-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were treated at a hospital and released. Salinas police have described the shooting as gang-related. Olivis, who heads the gang crime section of the district attorney’s office, declined to comment on whether Pacheco is a known gang member or whether prosecutors believe the shooting was the result of gang activity.
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