Three men who were kicked out of a packed California strip club for refusing to wear face coverings returned with an AK-47 and wounded three people in a drive-by shooting, authorities said.
Edgar Nava-Ayala, 34, Daniel Juvenal Ocampo, 22, and Juan Jose Acosta-Soto, 20, were tossed out of the Sahara Theater in Anaheim on Halloween after breaking the jiggle joint’s mask mandate, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Monday.
But the irate trio returned armed with an AK-47 and Nava fired at least 15 rounds into the establishment, wounding two employees and a customer.
One victim needed surgery while another had a shattered shoulder blade, District Attorney Todd Spitzer said.
Police in Anaheim arrested Nava-Ayala, Ocampo and Acosta-Soto on Thursday. They have pleaded not guilty and are currently being held on $5 million bail each.
Nava-Ayala and Ocampo are facing charges including three counts of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation. If convicted, they face up to life in prison, Spitzer said.
Acosta-Soto, who was charged with three counts of assault with an assault weapon and shooting into an occupied building, faces more than 17 years in prison if convicted.
Dozens of people were inside the strip club at the time of the drive-by shooting, police told the Washington Post.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed,” Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer told the newspaper.
“There were over 30 people in there and these guys are suspected of indiscriminately firing at innocent bystanders with a high-powered rifle.”
The three victims had minor to moderate injuries that weren’t life-threatening. A fourth person was also wounded, but refused medical attention at the scene, Carringer said.
Investigators worked “nonstop” to identify and apprehend the three suspects, none of whom had a significant criminal record prior to the Halloween shooting attack, Carringer said.
“In Anaheim, this is as close as we’ve gotten to a mass shooting,” Carringer told the Washington Post.
A manager at the club, meanwhile, declined to comment on the drive-by attack, telling the newspaper “all the info is out there.”
Attorneys for the three suspects did not immediately return a request for comment early Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.