An East Palo Alto man is facing multiple counts of attempted murder in connection to an April roadway shooting in Mountain View when he allegedly sprayed bullets into the side of a pickup truck and injured two teenagers.
The man, identified as 23-year-old Dasein Lavese, is being held in Santa Clara County Main Jail with a bail set at $2 million, with a plea hearing scheduled next month. Court documents show the unusually high bail is due to public safety concerns.
One of the victims told police that he was driving east on El Camino Real toward El Camino Hospital to pick up his father, whom he had dropped off earlier that afternoon with COVID-19 symptoms, according to court documents. He told officers that while on the road, he swerved to avoid a bicyclist and may have gotten too close to the suspect, who was driving nearby.
The victim said the other driver began "cussing" him out and the two exchanged words, with the driver eventually pulled out a gun and shooting at the vehicle, striking two of the passengers. The victim said he peeled off to side streets before circling back to Grant Road and rushing to El Camino Hospital.
Officers say the victim's pickup truck in the hospital parking lot was riddled with bullet holes, including five in the front passenger window, two in the front windshield and three in the "A-pillar" in between. Police later found that Lavese had likely fired between 15 and 16 rounds, according to investigative reports. Two of the passengers suffered gunshot wounds but survived.
Though the shooting took place on April 9, it took police more than a month to find a suspect, obtain a warrant and arrest Lavese at a Valero gas station in Mountain View. The initial call for help by police only described the shooter's vehicle -- a dark SUV with tinted windows -- and no description of the driver. Police reports show officers went business-by-business along El Camino to get surveillance footage, with mixed levels of success. Footage from a Chevron gas station was too low-quality to catch a good look of the suspect, while footage from a Valero gas station had no street angle.
An officer attempted to make contact with the Chase bank on El Camino Real and left a voicemail seeking the surveillance footage at the time of the incident, but didn't receive an answer.
A big breakthrough finally came on April 14, when a citizen was able to provide dash cam footage capturing the shooting along with a clear view of the SUV's license plate. The video shows the suspect's SUV and the victim's truck traveling on El Camino from El Monte Road east to Castro Street. When the light at Castro turns green, a firearm extends out of the SUV and fires at least 12 shots, according to court documents.
Officers arresting Lavese found a loaded firearm in his vehicle, and during a search warrant of his home found three additional guns, including an AR-15 and a loaded "ghost" gun that lacks a serial number and cannot be traced.