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Alleged Gang Member Charged In Venice Park Double Murder

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A reputed gang member was charged with murder and other crimes Thursday for the killing of two men at a Venice-area park.

Michael Anthony Mariscal of Culver City pleaded not guilty to two counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted premeditated murder, one count of street terrorism and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder carried out to further the activities of a criminal street gang. Prosecutors will decide whether to seek a death sentence.

Authorities says Salvador Diaz, 18, and Allan Mateo, 19, were sitting in bleachers with a group in Penmar Park on June 22, waiting to play basketball, when Mariscal allegedly walked up and made gang references. He then reportedly opened fire on the group, killing Diaz and Mateo and shooting a 17-year-old boy in the leg.

Marical fled the scene and was later arrested by Los Angeles police.

A preliminary hearing in the case has been set for July 20.

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