SAN LEANDRO (BCN) — Two men were charged Thursday with four counts of attempted murder for the shooting of four people at a popular Latin nightclub in San Leandro early Monday morning, prosecutors said.
Suspects Carlos Cervantes of Oakland and Salvador Lopez Aguilera of Hayward, both 28, are scheduled to be arraigned on the charges at 2 p.m. in Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward.
The shooting occurred in the parking lot of Club Caliente at 14572 E. 14th St. at about 1:55 a.m. Monday.
San Leandro police spokesman Lt. Robert McManus said on Wednesday that the shooting might have been a hate crime since it appears the suspects targeted the victims because of their sexual orientation but the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office didn’t file hate crime enhancements against the two men.
McManus said the nightclub had been busy on Sunday night, as it usually is, but when the club was closing early Monday morning Cervantes and Aguilera got into “a verbal altercation” with the four victims and made statements about the victims’ sexuality.
Cervantes then went to Aguilera’s van, retrieved a high-powered semi-automatic handgun, returned to the parking lot and joined Aguilera in making additional statements about the victims’ sexuality, according to McManus.
Aguilera then allegedly ordered Cervantes to shoot all four victims and Cervantes complied by removing the handgun from his waistband and shooting at all four people, hitting them in their legs and feet, McManus said.
The four victims, a woman and three men between the ages of 28 and 34, were treated at a hospital for gunshot wounds but have since been released and will make full recoveries, according to McManus.
Investigators traced Aguilar’s van to his home and conducted surveillance on the two suspects for two days before arresting Aguilar in Oakland on Tuesday morning and Cervantes in San Leandro at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, McManus said.
Police believe that Cervantes was planning to flee the Bay Area and the state, according to McManus.
Prosecutors allege that Cervantes was the shooter in the incident and charged him with four intentional discharge of a firearm enhancements, which could significantly increase his state prison term if he’s convicted.
San Leandro police Officer Jason Kritikos wrote in a probable cause statement that Aguilera told police that Cervantes was the shooter in the incident and two other friends of Cervantes provided details of the shooting.
Kritikos said Aguilera also admitted that he was involved in the shooting.
Cervantes and Aguilera, who are being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, are scheduled to be arraigned at the Hayward Hall of Justice at 24405 Amador St. at 2 p.m.
McManus said the four victims are from Livermore and Oakland and had come to Club Caliente, which he said has a good relationship with San Leandro police and draws a Latino clientele from throughout the Bay Area, to celebrate the holidays.