By CBSLA Staff

PASADENA (CBSLA) — Two men pleaded not guilty Monday in a February shooting that seriously injured a 10-year-old boy who was playing in front of his home in Pasadena.

Mario Gabriel Ramirez poses with members of the Pasadena police and fire departments after being discharged from a local hospital on March 18, 2021. Gabriel was playing in his front yard on Feb. 14, when at least one gunman opened fire, striking him three times. (Pasadena Police Department)

Joseph Mekhi Knowles, a 21-year-old Altadena resident, and Tanaj Johnson, a 22-year-old Pasadena resident, were each charged with one count of attempted murder.

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Knowles is also facing a felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon. The criminal complaint alleges that he has a 2018 conviction for robbery.

According to authorities, 10-year-old Mario Gabriel Ramirez was playing in the front yard of his home in the 300 block of Parke Street on Feb. 14 when he was shot several times. He was taken to an area hospital in critical condition.

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Investigators said the suspects exited a vehicle and fired multiple rounds, striking the child, before getting back in their vehicle and fleeing the area. Authorities said there was nothing to indicate that Mario was the intended victim of the shooting.

Mario, now 11, was released from the hospital in March after undergoing multiple surgeries.

A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money to help the family.

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Knowles and Johnson — who remain jailed — are due back in a Pasadena courtroom on Aug. 20.