TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A previously convicted felon has been found guilty of firing shots into a car and injuring a passenger last year, according to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.

On October 1, officials said a jury convicted 32-year-old Frankie Julian Ponce for assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

During a second trial phase, the jury also found that Ponce had carried out the assault to benefit a gang.

Investigators said Ponce and 42-year-old Reynaldo Elizaldi walked into a business in Tulare and saw two people who had been involved in the same gang as them.

Once outside the business, officials said Ponce and Elizaldi began yelling at the two victims for being ‘dropouts’ of the gang.

During the confrontation, authorities said Elizaldi punched the driver-side window and Ponce used a gun to break out the window on the front passenger side.

As the victims began to drive away, investigators said Ponce fired into the vehicle, hitting the passenger in his knee.

Between 2010 and 2021, Ponce has been convicted of four felonies and eight misdemeanors, including felony assault, active participation in a gang, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Ponce faces up to 24 years and four months in jail for the assault and is expected to be sentenced on November 28.