Shooting suspects plead not guilty

Three alleged Tongan Crips gang members accused of leading East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis on a high speed chase after shooting randomly at several homes and vehicles pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a San Mateo County courtroom.

Simione Paletua, 21, David Tupou, 18, and Nalesoni Tuipuloto, 18, pleaded innocent to charges of attempted murder, intentionally and personally discharging a firearm and discharging a firearm at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle.

At 2 a.m. on Aug. 5, Davis reportedly heard multiple gunshots while driving in East Palo Alto, the San Mateo County District Attorney's office reported.

Davis reportedly drove to the spot where he heard the gunshots and saw a car fleeing the area.

Inside the vehicle were Paletua, Tupou and Tuipuloto, who had allegedly fired shots at five cars and three homes at random using a shotgun and an assault rifle, the district attorney's office reported.

A high-speed pursuit between Davis and the three defendants ensued, during which the defendants allegedly began throwing weapons out of the car, according to the district attorney's office.

The defendants eventually pulled their vehicle over and were immediately taken into custody, the district attorney's office reported.

Although no one was injured in the incident, the defendants are charged with attempted murder since there were people, including sleeping children, inside of the three homes that they allegedly shot at, according to the district attorney's office.

Paletua and Tuipuloto remain in custody in lieu of $300,000 bail, while Tupou is out of custody on the same bail amount, the district attorney's office reported.

All three men will appear in court again on March 6 at 1 p.m. for a pre-trial conference.

— Bay City News Service


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