Man pleads not guilty to shooting gas station employee in Long Beach

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An ex-con pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, March 2 to charges that he shot and critically wounded a gas station employee in Long Beach amid a two- hour crime spree.

Frank Joseph Porras, 34, is charged with one count each of attempted murder, second-degree robbery, attempted carjacking, attempted second-degree robbery, second-degree burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon and unlawful possession of ammunition, along with two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

The criminal complaint also alleges that Porras personally used a semiautomatic handgun in the attack on the gas station employee and personally inflicted great bodily injury, along with an allegation that he has a 2005 robbery conviction from Los Angeles County.

Porras allegedly shot the gas station employee in the 3200 block of East Seventh Street just before 5:30 a.m. Jan. 28, then fled on foot prior to the arrival of police.

“Detectives believe the suspect entered and robbed the business, which escalated into the suspect shooting the victim,” according to a Long Beach police statement.

About two hours prior to the shooting, police believe Porras attempted to burglarize a business in the 700 block of Redondo Avenue, but was unsuccessful and ran off before officers arrived.

Police were called shortly afterward to a gas station near Seventh Street and Redondo Avenue, where Porras allegedly approached a man and brandished a firearm while demanding the man’s vehicle, but ran off again before officers arrived. Police were subsequently called to the gas station where the employee had been shot in the upper body.

Porras has remained jailed since he was arrested Feb. 2 by Long Beach police.

Co-defendant Stephanie Sandy Calderon, 29, was arrested Feb. 8. She subsequently pleaded not guilty to one count each of second-degree robbery, attempted second-degree robbery, attempted carjacking, second-degree burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon and accessory after the fact.

The criminal complaint alleges that Calderon has four prior convictions dating back to 2010 for crimes including burglary and grand theft.

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