Two Plead Not Guilty In Shooting That Seriously Injured Boy In Pasadena

PASADENA (CNS) - Two men pleaded not guilty today in a Valentine's Day shooting that seriously injured a 10-year-old boy who was playing in front of his home in Pasadena.

Joseph Mekhi Knowles, 21, of Altadena and Tanaj Johnson, 22, of Pasadena, are charged with attempted murder and mayhem in connection with the Feb. 14 shooting in the 300 block of Parke Street.

Knowles is also facing a felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon. The criminal complaint alleges that he has a 2018 conviction for robbery.

Officers were sent to the 300 block of Parke Street about 3 p.m. Feb. 14 on reports of shots fired and found the boy suffering from multiple, potentially life-threatening gunshot wounds, according to the Pasadena Police Department.

The investigation did not turn up any evidence that led detectives to believe the youngster was the intended target of the shooting, police said.

The boy's mother told the Pasadena Star-News that a bullet barely missed her son's heart, and that he underwent surgeries the day of the shooting. She said her son had just stepped out of the house when she heard gunshots.

A GoFundMe page set up to raise money to help the family said the boy needs extensive physical therapy and described him as a fun-loving child who enjoys soccer and basketball. His mother said doctors told her that her son was "very lucky to be alive."

Knowles and Johnson -- who remain jailed -- are due back in a Pasadena courtroom Aug. 20. A date is scheduled to be set then for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to allow the case against them to proceed to trial.

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