A Stockton teen accused of shooting at patrons at local gay nightclub with a paintball gun is being held on $6 million bail, reports KCRA.
Branden Staples, 19, was arraigned in a San Joaquin County court Friday and hit with seven felony charges — including making terrorist threats with a hate crime enhancement.
According to police, Staples was already under investigation for threats against a local high school when he was linked to the June 12 paintball attack on the nightclub.
The nightclub attack came on the same day a man shot up the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 and wounding over fifty.
According to court records, Staples has a history of run-ins with the law over vandalism.
“He terrorized this neighborhood and shot up the side of my house with a pellet gun,” said one neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous. “I have considered moving because of that kid,” whilke another neighbor added, ““Glad authorities caught up with him.”
Authorities didn’t provide any motive for that attack on the club, with a local prosecutor saying his office takes all assaults seriously.
“If you are a victim of a crime, and it’s because of your gender, sexual orientation or your age, the San Joaquin County District Attorney Office is going to prosecute [perpetrators] aggressively — but ethically,” Deputy District Attorney Elton Grau said.
Grau added that the bail was set high because of a “use of an explosive device” charge.
According to authorities, Staples is suspected of crimes in both Stockton and Lodi. He could face ten years in prison, if convicted.
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