2 charged in shooting of 10-year-old boy playing outside Pasadena home


Attempted murder charges were filed Monday against two people accused in the February shooting of a 10-year-old boy who was playing outside a Pasadena home, officials announced.

Around 3 p.m. on Feb. 14, police responded to the 300 block of Parke Street after receiving several calls of shots fired. Officers found a juvenile victim, who had been struck by gunfire several times, the Pasadena Police Department said.

Paramedics rushed the child, who was conscious and alert, to a hospital for injuries that were potentially life-threatening.

The victim has not been named by authorities, but a GoFundMe campaign set up at the time of the shooting identified him as Mario Ramirez, a local Catholic school student who loves basketball and video games. He is expected to recover but needs extensive physical therapy, the page’s author wrote.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects had gotten out of a vehicle and fired multiple bullets, striking the victim. The suspects then got back into their car and fled the area in what was described as a late model, light colored four-door sedan.

“There is nothing to indicate the 10-year-old was the intended victim of this senseless act of violence,” Pasadena Police said in a news release.

After several more months of investigation, detectives identified the two people believed to be responsible for the Valentine’s Day shooting as Joseph Mekhi Knowles, a 21-year-old Altadena resident, and Tanaj Johnson, a 22-year-old Pasadena resident.

Authorities originally said they were looking for at least three male suspects.

On May 20, detectives and the U.S. Marshal’s Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force issued search warrants at various Southern California locations. Additional evidence was found connecting the two men to the shooting, police said.

Knowles and Johnson were arrested and are facing one charge each of attempted murder, according to Pasadena Police.

The cases was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for review on Monday.

Pasadena Police urge anyone with information about the case to call 626-744-4241 or report information anonymously by calling “Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-8477 or visiting lacrimestoppers.org.

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