SAN BERNARDINO – The rash of fatal shootings continued early Sunday morning when a teen-ager was gunned down during a party here.
Police arrested Darin Couzens, 25, of San Bernardino when he presented himself for treatment at an area hospital. Couzens, witnesses told police, had been wounded during the shooting. Tomanisha Nichols, 19, was shot by Couzens at 12:48 a.m. in the 4000 block of North E St., which is an unincorporated part of San Bernardino County. It was the fifth murder this month, authorities said.
Witnesses told police that Nichols, who was on her cell phone when she was struck by the bullet, may have been involved in an altercation with Couzens that led to the shooting. Couzens fled the scene, said police, and was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, which is in the neighboring city to San Bernardino. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Couzens at the hospital. No motive was listed for the shooting.
Couzens, who is being held without bail, is being held at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. Charged with murder, Couzens is expected in court this week. It was the 31st murder in 2014 and the pattern seems to be headed toward a number higher than last year’s total of 46. There were 47 murders in 2012. San Bernardino Police Dept. spokesman, Lt. Rich Lawhead, had listed the recent murders that have taken place within city limits.
On July 9, Juan Carlos Villapudua, 27, of San Bernardino was pronounced dead after being shot in the 2800 block of Rialto Ave. Lawhead said that people near the victim likely took his wallet and other items before police arrived. The articles were recovered by police, who said Villapudua had a history of drug-selling activities.
In a gang-related shooting, Phillip Andre Jacobs, Sr., 45, was found dead in his doorway after a gunman shot him at his San Bernardino apartment on July 8. One day before, Orlando Wayne Hunt, Jr., 24, of Beaumont was shot by two gunmen outside of a store at 312 East Base Line St. Four others were injured in what police also term gang-related.
On July 11, Shelton Nicholas, 23, was shot in an abandoned home in the 1500 block of North F St. Most of the murders, said Lawhead, are gang-related or affiliated with kind of drug sales or other illicit activities.
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