An East Palo Alto man faces felony charges that could put him behind bars for decades after he allegedly shot into an occupied car, but missed striking the driver, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office said.
Ivan Melendrez-Rodriguez, 24, faces charges of attempted murder, two counts of felony use of a firearm and shooting into an inhabited vehicle charge stemming from a Nov. 16 incident. The alleged target, a former Sureno gang member, was driving his car at 1:30 p.m. and stopped at a stop sign on Glen Way near Garden Street. Melendrez-Rodriguez, an alleged Norteno gang member, pulled his car alongside, brandished a handgun and allegedly fired one shot at the victim, the District Attorney's Office said. The bullet went through the windshield and exited through the passenger window without striking the driver. Melendrez-Rodriguez allegedly called the driver a name and drove off.
The alleged target did not report the crime, but he told his girlfriend who in turn called the police. Melendrez-Rodriguez and the victim knew each other, according to the victim, and Melendrez-Rodriguez had previously challenged him with mean looks and by brandishing a firearm, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Melendrez-Rodriguez appeared in San Mateo County Superior Court on Wednesday for an initial arraignment and was appointed to the Private Defender Program. He is scheduled to enter a plea and set a preliminary hearing date on Jan. 10. He remains in custody on $10 million bail and with a no-contact order with the driver.