Teen charged with promoting gang violence after shooting

Two felony offenses were filed in Juvenile Court on Thursday against a Yuma teenager arrested in connection to last weekend’s attempted murder.

Martin Lopez, 16, was charged with threatening and intimidating and assisting in a criminal syndication or street gang during a detention hearing held at the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center.

According to Juvenile Court officials, Lopez’s next court hearing is a transfer to determine whether he will be prosecuted as an adult. That hearing is scheduled for Aug. 26.

Lopez was not released after his hearing and remained in custody as of Thursday afternoon, officials said.

Lopez, whom police have identified as a criminal street gang member, was arrested Tuesday afternoon during a traffic stop in the 100 block of San Jose Avenue at 3:10 p.m.

On Saturday, police responded to the 1300 block of South 10th Avenue for reports of shots fired. Upon their arrival, officers found two adult males lying in the street, both with gunshot injuries.

The two shooting victims, who were not identified, were transported to the Yuma Regional Medical Center for treatment. Their injuries were not life-threatening, according to a police department news release issued at the time.

During the initial investigation, officers discovered there had been a party in the neighborhood where the shooting took place.

A disturbance occurred between the victims and several other subjects who had recently arrived at the residence. One or more of the individuals who arrived took out a firearm, shot both of the victims and fled the area.

Police say while Lopez, who was at the party, does not appear to have direct involvement in Saturday’s shooting, he was using his MySpace Web page to challenge rival gang members to continue the violence.

Abraham Espinoza, 18, and Rene Razo, 16, have also been arrested in the shooting. Both remain in custody.

Espinoza has been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated assault with the intent to cause serious physical injury and one count each of threatening and intimidating, and of assisting in a criminal street gang.

Razo was charged with assisting in a criminal street gang and threatening and intimidating, both of which are felonies.

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