Domestic violence is a problem that usually affects one victim, and sometimes other family members, often with tragic circumstances. But on Sunday evening in Lucerne, a town on the eastern shore of Clear Lake in Lake County, an incident nearly resulted in the injury or death of several bystanders, including several children, according to a report issued by Lieutenant Steve Brooks of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.
Witnesses reported to investigators that 20-year-old Marcus Ray Gregory, originally from Stockton, was in a car parked at the Riviera Motel, which is on the Frontage road behind Highway 20 along the shore of the lake at the southern end of town. He was apparently living at the motel at the time. They saw him arguing with a woman in the car, and began hitting and choking her. One of the witnesses tried to stop him, and pulled Gregory off of the woman.
Gregory then attacked the intervening witness, and briefly left the scene to go to his room, unit #1. He returned with a handgun, pointed it at the people gathered in the area, and threatened to shoot them, including several children. When the people ran from him, he did begin shooting. A witness reported five to seven shots fired.
During all this activity, at 6:50 pm, someone called the Sheriff’s Department to report it, and deputies were quickly on the scene. They saw Gregory with his gun run into the motel room. He tried jumping out through the rear window, but deputies had already established a perimeter around the motel, and Gregory was quickly taken into custody, at 7:09 pm Sunday, December 14.
The deputies investigated the scene and took witness statements. They located several bullet holes in the motel, along with shell casings on the ground. They also found the gun Gregory had used, and a bullet lodged in an exterior door.
After a quick trip to a local hospital for treatment of a laceration Gregory sustained in the jump from the window, he was booked into the Hill Road Correctional Facility on charges of attempted murder, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or co-habitant, making terrorist threats, resisting arrest, and exhibiting a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $200,000. Gregory had been arrested earlier this year, on March 24 by Clear Lake Highway Patrol officers when he was pulled over for speeding. He was also found to be driving without a valid licence, and in possession of marijuana while driving. At that time he was residing in a house in Lucerne rather than the motel.