Both men charged in connection with the shooting of an Indianapolis police officer last week are gang members, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday.
Formal charges were filed against Eugenio Gonzalez-Rarmirez, 18, and Johnny Taboada-Perez, 22, in the Friday shooting of Officer Dustin Carmack, 6News' Derrik Thomas
Gonzalez-Ramirez, who police believe was the triggerman in the shooting, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery, carjacking, carrying a handgun without a license and a criminal gang enhancement.
Carmack was sitting in his car, writing a report after a separate arrest at a liquor store when he was shot.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Gonzalez-Ramirez was a passenger in a car from which four shots were fired at Carmack. Two shots missed Carmack's cruiser, one shot hit the officer in the hip and one went into the rear side door, officials said.
Taboada-Perez was driving the car, police said, and investigators recovered a spent shell casing from that car.
Taboada-Perez was charged with assisting a criminal, possession of marijuana and a criminal gang enhancement. Police said he told them he was intoxicated and doesn't remember anything after arriving at the liquor store.
Gonzalez-Ramirez was arrested outside a home in the 2000 block of Centennial Street. Police said they found three handguns in a backpack in his possession.
Police said Gonzalez-Ramirez is a member of the Puros Vatos Locos street gang, and Taboada-Perez is a member of the SCT-13 gang. Both have tattoos that express allegiance to those gangs, authorities said.
Deputy prosecutor Denise Robinson said the suspects' gang connection could play a major factor if they are found guilty.
"If the judge sentenced them to 30 years on attempted murder, by statute criminal gang enhancement (the judge) can add another 30 years to that sentence. That's non-discretionary. That is a high price and I don't have a problem with (the charges)," Robinson said.
David Hennessy, Taboada-Perez's attorney, said his client is not in a gang, but if he were, it's not likely that rival gangs would have committed a crime together.
"If police got caught in a crossfire between two people in these gangs, they would say these two gangs were at war with each other. But, since they formulated the belief that these two people are in different gangs and came together to shoot at an officer, now it's rival gangs acting together. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me," Hennessy said.
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