A documented gang member who was apprehended in Mexico a week after he allegedly shot a sheriff’s deputy in Coachella pleaded not guilty today, facing charges of attempted murder and other felony charges. Bail has been set at $5,000,000.
Gildardo Davila Jr., 27, was taken into custody Thursday on suspicion of shooting Deputy David Solis, who was hospitalized for several days and is expected to make a full recovery.
In a news conference at the sheriff’s Thermal station Friday morning, Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff said Solis is not back at work yet but "very much anxious to get back in the saddle."
Solis was struck in his left hand, leaving some of his fingers "badly damaged," according to Sniff. He also was hit in the belly, though the round struck him in his bullet-resistant vest, Sniff said. Another round hit him in the chest just above the vestline.
Mexican authorities captured Davila in Mexicali and turned him over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Fugitive Warrant Enforcement Team at the border, according to the sheriff’s department.
Davila is set to be arraigned Monday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on multiple felony charges, including attempted murder on a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon, evading arrest, possession of controlled substances and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Solis attempted to stop Davila about 7:45 p.m. May 25 near Harrison and First streets because of “numerous vehicle code violations,” but the driver sped off, according to the sheriff’s department.
Davila allegedly tossed a handgun from the vehicle as he was being pursued, and Solis’ supervisor quickly called off the chase.
The deputy later spotted Davila’s car near Calle Mendoza and Las Flores Avenue in Coachella, prompting the suspect to flee on foot, according to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant. Solis pursued Davila into an open field, where Davila allegedly shot the 33-year-old deputy four to six times with a Smith & Wesson 9mm, later found in the field.
A duffel bag containing “a short-barreled assault rifle,” along with more than 200 grams of methamphetamine and over 30 grams of heroin, was also found in the field, according to court documents.
Davila allegedly fled to a nearby home where the 5-foot-9, 200-pound suspect discarded some of his clothing, including pants with about 13 grams of heroin found in one of the pockets, according to sheriff’s officials.
Court records show Davila has numerous convictions dating back to 2008, including vehicle theft, possession of ammunition, possession of controlled substances, possession of burglary tools and violation of a gang injunction served by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office on the region last year.
Davila is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.