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Suspect in Desert Hot Springs shooting in critical condition after car crash

A juvenile suspect in a shooting Friday morning in Desert Hot Springs is in critical condition after a car crash, Deputy Police Chief Steven Shaw told News Channel 3's Shelby Nelson.

Police were called to the 66900 block of Flora Avenue at approximately 5:45 a.m. to investigate reports of a drive-by shooting. Police shut down the street between Mesquite Ave. and Verbena Dr. for hours.

No one in the shooting was injured. Shaw said just down the street, right after the shooting, there was a serious injury collision with a vehicle into a parked vehicle.

"We soon put the things together and we assume that both the shooting and that collision, were related and eventually we did arrest the driver of that collision for being involved in the drive-by shooting," Shaw said.

Shaw said a juvenile suspect was in the passenger seat, and is in critical condition after suffering a head injury.

"When we got there the driver had actually taken the passenger out of the vehicle and was dragging the passenger away from the vehicle. We don’t know if it was an attempt to flee or to actually render some sort of aid to the passenger," said Shaw.

The driver suffered minor injuries and was later arrested.

Shaw said no weapons were found inside the vehicle, but it was towed away for potential evidence.

Just one day earlier another shooting happened on West Dr. and Second Street in Desert Hot Springs.

"We did make an arrest in that case. There are additional subjects that we are looking for."

Shaw said the shootings do not appear to be related. He said they have not identified any reasoning or motives for the recent uptick in crime.

"Obviously we all look at the COVID thing and people are at their wits end, the heat has been going up, so certainly that stuff may be playing a part of it and people are just frustrated, but as far as a motive we’re just not seeing it."

However, Shaw said police in the area are noticing a trend in age, related to the shootings.

"Really between that 17 and 25 year-old range."

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Timothy Kiley

Timothy Kiley is Assistant News Director for News Channel 3 starting in 2002 as Photojournalist.

Jesus Reyes

Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019 after living in San Francisco for 6 years. Learn more about Shelby here.

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