A security guard pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of firing more than 50 rounds at Fashion Island, prompting panic among shoppers just one day after the mass killings at a Connecticut elementary school, and also opening fire in the Newport Beach mall's parking lot on another occasion.
Bail was set at $1 million for Marcos Sarinana Gurrola, 42, of Garden Grove, who was ordered to return to court March 15 for a pretrial hearing.
Gurrola is charged with 54 counts of shooting at an occupied building, two counts of aggravated assault and 10 counts of negligent discharge of a firearm, all felonies, with sentence-enhancing allegations for shooting a gun, stemming from two.
In addition to last month's incident, Gurrola is accused of firing 10 rounds the afternoon of Nov. 16, 2011, at Fashion Island, Deputy District Attorney Robert Mestman said. The defendant was linked to the earlier gunfire after his arrest last month, the prosecutor said.
A check of state Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Security and Investigative Services records shows Gurrola has a guard/patrolperson registration issued Jan. 2, 2009, that is due to expire Jan. 31.
It was unclear whether Gurrola was currently employed as a security guard, and, if so, where he was working, Mestman said.
Newport Beach police received multiple calls of gunfire in the east side of the parking lot outside the Macy's store at San Miguel and Newport Center drives about 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, according to department spokeswoman Kathy Lowe.
Gurrola drove his white Honda Civic to the lot, got out of the vehicle and fired a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun 54 times, Mestman alleged.
None of the bullets struck the Macy's store, he said.
A mother and her 4-year-old daughter suffered minor injuries when they were shoved by panicked shoppers running for cover, but no one was hit by the gunfire, Mestman said.
Bicycle officers who patrol the area arrived quickly and took the gunman into custody without incident.
Gurrola could face up to 115 years in prison if convicted, Mestman said.
- City News Service