SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KTVU) - San Leandro Police said they are requesting the two men who shot and injured four at Club Caliente on East 14th Street Monday morning, be charged with a hate crime.
28-year-old Carlos Cervantes of Oakland, and 28-year-old Salvador Lopez Aguilera of Hayward, were arrested Tuesday for their part in the shooting.
"This was a hate-motivated crime. The people are specifically targeted because of their sexual preference," says Lt. Robert McManus with San Leandro Police Department.
Investigators say the suspects and the victims were leaving the club when they got into some kind of argument. It was during the argument that police say the suspects said derogatory statements about the male victims being gay.
"Carlos Cervantes actually walked across East 14th Street and he went to the van that is owned by Mr. Aguilera and retrieved a high-powered semi-automatic handgun," says McManus.
When Cervantes returned to the parking lot the arguing continued and moments later police believe the gunmen deliberately opened fire on the victims.
"Aguilera ordered Cervantes to shoot the four people. Cervantes removed the handgun and opened fire striking four of the victims," says McManus.
No one at the club was available for comment. Investigators say to the best of their knowledge this the first time people in San Leandro were targeted in a shooting because of their sexual orientation. That's why officers are asking that both men not only face attempted murder charges but also charges for a hate motivated crime.
The two are scheduled to be arraigned in the Alameda County Superior Court on Thursday at 2 p.m.