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CNS - Two men accused in a Harbor Gateway-area shooting that critically wounded a 6-year-old boy who was in an SUV with his family were ordered to stand trial recently on attempted murder and other charges. Ernesto Murillo, 25, of Torrance, and Ismael Torres, 26, of Wilmington, remain jailed in lieu of $2 million bail. At the conclusion of a preliminary hearing, Long Beach Superior Court Judge J.D. Lord found that there is sufficient evidence for the pair to stand trial. They are due back in court for arraignment on July 16.
Murillo, whom authorities called a documented gang member, is accused of being the shooter. Authorities believe Torres is an associate of the gang. Both are charged with three counts of attempted murder, with one of the counts naming the 6-year-old boy, who was shot in the head near 227th Street and Halldale Avenue around 12:30 p.m. March 4. Deputy District Attorney John Lonergan said the boy is still suffering from the effects of the injury.
Murillo and Torres are charged with one count of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and five counts of assault with a deadly weapon. The criminal complaint alleges that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang. The two were arrested about 5:15 a.m. March 5 following an intensive manhunt.
The shooting was one in a series of high-profile Southland attacks. Five adults and three children were in the SUV being driven along Halldale when Murillo allegedly made hand gestures consistent with gang signs and opened fire on the vehicle.
One round struck the 6-year-old boy. Lonergan said the crime appeared to be gang-related, but was not race- related, since the defendants and victims are all black. Family members had been in the SUV headed to a car auction, then to another location to talk to a man about a car when they realized the car auction was closed. If convicted of all counts, Murillo and Torres each face 60 years to life in prison.