The Colton man accused of shooting a frantic woman as she flagged down cars on Pico Boulevard has pleaded not guilty to four felony charges, including two counts of attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Waiverly Burnest Thomas, 31, entered his plea on Tuesday, three days after the shooting. A Los Angeles County Superior judge set his bail at $3.03 million.
Thomas is also charged with one count of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle. If convicted of all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison.
He has three prior convictions in Los Angeles county for burglary, drug possession and carrying a loaded firearm in public.
A preliminary hearing, when a judge will decide if there is enough evidence against Thomas to proceed to trial, is scheduled for Dec. 26.
Police allege Waiverly opened fire Saturday evening from the Pico Boulevard sidewalk, near 18th Street. Multiple rounds struck an 18-year-old woman who had run into the intersection from a nearby memorial car wash to flag down a car, saying she needed help leaving the area.
A driver stopped to help, and she got in his car, but before they could escape, the gunman fired, according to the Santa Monica Police Department. The shooter fled west into the nearby neighborhoods.
Thomas was apprehended near Delaware Avenue at 16th Street about an hour after the shooting as he attempted to drive out of a police perimeter. A handgun believed to be the one used in the shooting was recovered from the car.
With the victim inside his car, the driver was able to call 911 upon reaching the corner of Lincoln and Pico boulevards, according to the police. She was treated at a local hospital.