Santa Cruz business owner charged after shooting at suspects

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KRON) — A Santa Cruz cannabis business owner is facing seven felony gun charges after he allegedly opened fire on a group of eight would-be burglars.

Derek Hubbard, who owns Decibel Gardens on Encinal Street, pleaded not guilty in court last week. Police said surveillance cameras recorded the chaotic failed burglary attempt and shooting at Decibel Gardens.

All eight of the attempted burglary suspects remain at-large. Hubbard, meanwhile, is being prosecuted for crimes including assault with a semiautomatic rifle.

According to Santa Cruz police, eight people broke into the business on November 13 and set off a security alarm. Hubbard rushed to his business and arrived before police officers. Hubbard fired several shots at the intruders, rammed his car into the group’s getaway vehicles, and continued firing his gun at the fleeing suspects, police said.

One of the getaway cars had been previously stolen in the San Francisco Bay Area. Investigators later found the stolen car abandoned along Highway 17.

The would-be burglars were unable to steal anything before they were confronted by Hubbard, according to police. The Santa Cruz Police Department arrested Hubbard after investigators determined he used deadly force to thwart a property crime, the group was fleeing when shots were fired, the group did not pose a threat of violence, police said.

Hubbard will return to court on November 27 for a preliminary hearing.

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