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Victims Get $1.3 Million in Bizarre Nightclub Patron-Singer Gunfight

May 29, 1993 GMT

INDIO, Calif. (AP) _ Jurors have awarded $1.3 million to victims who were shot during a gunfight between a nightclub singer and a patron at a 1992 performance.

The gun battle began when Edward Alvarado Gallegos allegedly pulled out a gun and shot popular Mexican singer Marcelino ″Chalino″ Sanchez on stage. The singer drew his own concealed weapon and returned fire.

At least eight of the 400 people in the audience at Plaza Los Arcos in Coachella on Jan. 24, 1992, were struck by bullets. One of them, Claudio Rene Carranza, 20, died later in a hospital.


Anna Carranza, Claudio’s wife, got $744,408, the largest share of Thursday’s jury award. Mrs. Carranza and seven other patrons were wounded.

Jurors found that the club owner and a security agency were negligent in, among other things, failing to use metal detectors at the doors to check for weapons.

Gallegos, 34, of Thermal, faces a murder trial June 28. Sanchez, who wasn’t charged, was found shot to death several months later in Mexico.

At the time of the shooting, patrons suggested the violence stemmed from a long-running feud that began in Mexico.

Defendants included Manuel Martinez and Alliance Private Security, which provided security guards for the event; club owner Israel DeLeon, and promoter Joaquin Conchas and his company. DeLeon and Conchas have filed for bankruptcy.

Agreements that Alliance had with DeLeon make the company liable for the entire judgment, said Michael Koncz, an associate of Jack Anthony, the plaintiffs’ attorney.

Arlette Poland, who represented Alliance, called the damages unjustified. She contended her case was hindered because she was unable to use a videotape of the shooting and other evidence from Gallegos’ criminal case.