Ex-Convict Charged With Firing Shots Near Hollywood Farmers’ Market

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Criminal charges have been filed against an ex- convict who allegedly fired shots near the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, causing the popular establishment to shut down, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Joseph DeLaCruz, 42, is charged with one felony count each of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, first-degree burglary with a person present, criminal threats, possession of a firearm by a felon, unlawful possession of ammunition, vandalism causing $400 or more in damage or destruction of property and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

DeLaCruz allegedly threatened a woman with a gun on Sunday and later began shooting from his apartment’s balcony in the 1600 block of Cosmo Street, one block east of the intersection of Cahuenga and Hollywood boulevards, damaging buildings and a vehicle, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Officers arrived to see the suspect yelling and throwing out items from the balcony of his apartment, Los Angeles police said. No injuries were reported.

“It’s extremely fortunate that no one was injured in this brazen act of violence,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges against DeLaCruz.

“We cannot tolerate the indiscriminate firing of a weapon into an area frequented by so many innocent members of our community. Everyone should be able to enjoy a Sunday morning without being worried about being struck by a random bullet.”

The nearby Hollywood Farmers’ Market was forced to shut down operations for the day, posting on its Facebook page, “Due to an emergency near the market, we are closed today July 31. We’re glad our staff and vendors are OK.”   

“If you need to access to fresh food and produce, and can travel, please visit our sibling market, Atwater Village Farmers’ Market,” the post added. At about 9:20 a.m. that day, the LAPD reported that there was an active standoff and a SWAT team was called to the scene for the suspect, who had barricaded himself inside the apartment. Police confirmed at around 11:45 a.m. that the suspect was taken into custody. DeLaCruz has remained behind bars since his arrest, jail records show.

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