A Los Angeles man accused of chasing and shooting a Koreatown smoke shop clerk during a dispute, then barricading himself inside a nearby business for three hours before being arrested by a SWAT team, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges including attempted murder, authorities said.
Joseph Michael Young, 41, denied counts of “willful, deliberate and premeditated” attempted murder, assault with firearm, shooting at an occupied building and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He also faces special allegations of personally using a firearm and causing great bodily injury.
The alleged crimes took place Tuesday afternoon, when Young became involved in an argument over a purchase with a clerk at a smoke shop at Vermont Avenue and 8th Street, District Attorney’s Office spokesman Paul Eakins said in a written statement.
“The defendant allegedly attempted to shoot the man, but the gun jammed and the victim ran from the store,” he said.
Young chased after the clerk, firing multiple rounds, officials said. The victim was struck once in the foot or leg.
Following the shooting, Young ran into a nearby discount store, where he allegedly fired a gun, smashed out windows and engaged a SWAT team in a three-hour standoff before being taken into custody, according to Eakins.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 15 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, officials said.
Young’s criminal history includes 2017 convictions for making criminal threats and recklessly evading police in a motor vehicle, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records. Charges of transportation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sales were dismissed, and Young was sentenced to two years in state prison.
If convicted as charged in the shooting case, Young faces up to 46 years to life in state prison.
Young’s bail was initially set at $50,000 following his arrest, records show. Prosecutor planned to ask that bail be increased to $2 million during Thursday’s arraignment hearing, but it was not clear whether that request was granted.*