Details emerge in Valinda murder-suicide

From Tribune staff reports:

VALINDA — A man threw a beer can at a passing car and then fatally shot a man in front of his family before he killed himself, police said Friday.
David Sua, 37, of Valinda was pronounced dead Thursday night at the scene of the shooting, along with gunman George Zavala, 34, of West Covina, according to officials and family members.
The shooting occurred during a confrontation between the two men about 8:30 p.m. at Samgerry Drive and Rimgrove Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Ed Hernandez said in a statement.
“The victim, David Sua, was driving to dinner with his family when the suspect threw a beer can at the Sua family’s vehicle,” Hernandez said. “Sua exited the car and confronted the suspect, who produced a handgun.”
Nearby resident Ramona Hagen said she saw the shooting and tried to help Sua’s wife and teenage daughter render aid to Sua, who seemed to have a pulse moments after the shooting. Zavala, she added, appeared to have died instantly.
She was outside smoking a cigarette when she heard what sounded like a gunshot, she said.
As she approached the corner, she heard the sound of men yelling, and heard Sua say, ‘My kids were in the car,’ she said.
“I heard (Sua’s) wife say, ‘He has a gun,’” she said.
The two men walked down the street with the SUV close behind.
“The man with the gun pointed it at him and pushed it at his chest,” Hagen said.
“If you’re not going to use it, put it away,” Hagen recalled Sua yelling as he pushed the gunman to the ground.
The gunman got up and pointed the weapon a second time, but Sua pushed him to the floor again, she said.
After getting up again, Zavala cocked his gun and shot Sua in the chest before shooting himself in the head, Hagen said.
Zavala’s family members said they do not believe he would have gotten into a confrontation if he did not feel threatened.
Ana Zavala, George Zavala’s sister, set up a small memorial of candles and flowers, which was next to another memorial in remembrance of Sua.
“How do you know (George Zavala) wasn’t the victim?” she asked. “It’s unfair to blame him for something they don’t know.”
She doubts her brother got into a confrontation without being provoked or fearing for his own safety. She didn’t know why he carried a gun.
“He was very loving, happy, and always there to help everybody,” Ana Zavala said. “He was very outgoing and a provider for his family.”
George Zavala’s other sister, Vanessa Zavala, 18, described her brother as a “good person” but also mentioned that George Zavala had been getting in arguments with his wife since New Year’s Eve.
Sua’s family members were not available to comment, but one of the Sua family’s neighbors, Mariana Romano, 54, said David Sua was a “good neighbor and good man.”
“We are very sad,” Romano said of her family. “We talk to their family and he is a good man.”
Romano said Sua cared for his children and always worked on his truck.
Raul Santana said he had lived next to the Sua family for more than six years.
“He was a really nice man,” Santana said. “Everybody loved him. He was a good father and husband. His family’s nice, too.”
“We’re really going to miss him,” Santana added. “Everybody is sad.”
The communities along the 60 Freeway, often referred to as the Valinda Corridor, have been rocked by violence this year. Deputies since March have responded to about 30 shootings in the area, according to newspaper archives and statistics from the sheriff’s Industry Station.
On Friday, a 17-year-old boy walking at 2:30 p.m. on the 17400 block of Tadmore Street in East Valinda was shot and wounded by men who drove up in a car, authorities said. The shooting was probably gang related, they said.
The shooting was about one mile south of Thursday’s alleged murder-suicide.

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  • alexandra hernandez

    my unkel dave was a great man,dad, son, husband,borther, and unkel.he was a family man he came to all my family partys and we when to all of his it realy sucks that one of the “GREAT” men in this world is now gone. myself and the family are in shock. its realy hard to belive.that some one that “GOOD”! IS NOW GONE. and theres nothing we can do about it.but pray. we are all praying for him my his sole rest in peace.
    i love you unkel dave.
    <3 alywas and forever more
    alex:]

  • alexandra hernandez

    my unkel dave was a great man,dad, son, husband,borther, and unkel.he was a family man he came to all my family partys and we when to all of his it realy sucks that one of the “GREAT” men in this world is now gone. myself and the family are in shock. its realy hard to belive that some one that “GOOD”! IS NOW GONE. and theres nothing we can do about it.but pray. we are all praying for him my his sole rest in peace.
    i love you unkel dave.
    <3 alywas and forever more
    alex:]

  • Alec and Aarika Sua (son and daughter of, victim, David Sua)

    We are saddened to hear the suspect’s family is trying portray our father as the aggressor in this horrible tragedy. Our father was not the criminal in this crime, he was only trying to protect his family. Our father was a good man, he was loving and funny. He was the kindest man in the world, and did everything he could for us.

    Our father would never hurt anyone in that manner.

  • sergio corona

    its funny how the news and all the media dont tell you that david sua estrada push george tree times before he was shot and how his wife was screaming at him the whole time and they never mention a second car being involved also they mention that david lived around the corner and the suspect dint even live around there funny thing is george lived literaly around the corner from incident no one is going to trow a beer can at a moving car unless the car passes so close to you that they almost run you over just my thought.

  • Melissa

    Give me a break, to the comments trying to defend a coward, George Zavala. The facts are plain and simple, he pulled the trigger and killed David. The coward then realized what he did was wrong and killed himself. Even if the confrontation involved a few pushes and shoves, does that really give the right for Zavala to MURDER???? I don’t think so, then for people to try and say Zavala was threaten. Zavala was the one with the gun, if anything David was the one threaten. There would have never been a confrontation if Zavala wasn’t such an idiot to throw a beer can at a truck.

    I have known David for years and know that he was protecting his family and was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Melissa

    Give me a break, to the comments trying to defend a coward, George Zavala. The facts are plain and simple, he pulled the trigger and killed David. The coward then realized what he did was wrong and killed himself. Even if the confrontation involved a few pushes and shoves, does that really give the right for Zavala to MURDER???? I don’t think so, then for people to try and say Zavala was threaten. Zavala was the one with the gun, if anything David was the one threaten. There would have never been a confrontation if Zavala wasn’t such an idiot to throw a beer can at a truck.

    I have known David for years and know that he was protecting his family and was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Cruz

    Give me a break, to the comments trying to defend a coward, George Zavala. The facts are plain and simple, he pulled the trigger and killed David. The coward then realized what he did was wrong and killed himself. Even if the confrontation involved a few pushes and shoves, does that really give the right for Zavala to MURDER???? I don’t think so, then for people to try and say Zavala was threaten. Zavala was the one with the gun, if anything David was the one threaten. There would have never been a confrontation if Zavala wasn’t such an idiot to throw a beer can at a truck.

    I have known David for years and know that he was protecting his family and unfortunately was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • M

    Give me a break, to the comments trying to defend a coward, George Zavala. The facts are plain and simple, he pulled the trigger and killed David. The coward then realized what he did was wrong and killed himself. Even if the confrontation involved a few pushes and shoves, does that really give the right for Zavala to MURDER???? I don’t think so, then for people to try and say Zavala was threaten. Zavala was the one with the gun, if anything David was the one threaten. There would have never been a confrontation if Zavala wasn’t such an idiot to throw a beer can at a truck.

    I have known David for years and know that he was protecting his family and was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Neighbor

    All I know is that the Ramona woman is TOO funny trying to sound like the hero in this all. I saw her run after the 3rd gun shot and she was not there to witness this all. Ya she probably was out there smoking, what else is new. Today the families are having a car wash, David Sua’s fam is by West Covina Mall in El Loco, I got a carwash today and helped donate money to someone that was a victim. The other family is hosting one as well but its hard for me to justify that he felt threatened. THREATENED?? is that why you carry a gun around??? guilty conscious i’d say?? This should be a lesson to all: JUST WALK AWAY FROM IT. You are not TOUGH, if someone starts shit. Just be the bigger man and walk away. I know its hard to do, but is it worth getting killed? The worst part in this all is that his kids and wife had to witness this awful thing, watch his father die trying to protect his family. One good thing is that they just came home from a family dinner, they got to spend a last happy time together. It beats hearing about it or getting a phone call. My warm heartfelt thoughts go out to the Sua Family. Be strong. Ignore the media. They are not trying to help, they are just there for a story and to sell their paper. Ive been through it all. Sadly.

  • sergio

    give you a break!! the facts are plain and simple sua try to run zavala off the road so zavala trows a beer can then sua gets off the car along with the second car nobody mentions in the news sua wife and the other people star yelling non sense out the window sua gets off starts pushing and shoving zavala once,twice and third time when zavala gets feed up pulls out a gun and shots those are the facts there are no resturants in the area sua dint lived there he had no bussines runing people off the road and expect not to get hurt expecially in the area you dont protect your family pushing somebody expecially if you know his armed

  • ruben

    the dude david was an idiot trying to be a hero in frot of his family you dont mess with a dude and a gun youre going to die.

  • joe morgan

    i knew this bastard from high school he always thougth he was bullet proof sooner or later i knew he was going to find his match.

  • marianne

    I dont justify what took place but it seems as if GEORGE is getting the entire blame. for people to judge him and comment on who or how he was is just so typical. ive known george since elementary school and he was the first to help someone that was down and out, kind and giving and a very good friend. my heart goes out to both familys. who gives anyone the right to judge people? only god can. i believe he made peace with himself and gave whatever guilt, shame, pain and anything else that took place in hes life. i know he went in peace and was forgiven by god so nobody has a right to blame, judge. how can anyone say what he was feeling, thinking or what were hes reasons for doing what he did. only god, george and david know. hes not the only one to blame, david got out of hes car and started the confrontation, and put hands on george, i believe that threats were made and the possibility of george fearing for hes life was there. it does not justify it, because there is no justification for taking anothers life. both familys suffered a great loss. my heart goes out to them, the zavala fsmily is dealing with another loss, that is opening old wounds and bringing up pain, emotions and memorys of hes sisters death. R.I.P GEORGE ZAVALA WE LOVE YOU. WE LOST A GOOD FRIEND.

  • Melissa

    Get your facts straight, no one tried to run anyone off the curb. David was not even the driver of the vehicle, his wife was. Ignorance gets you no where, so get your FACTS straight before you try and preach it!!!!!!!!!!!! We all feel for Zavala’s family but don’t try and make the suspect a victim!!!

  • Melissa

    And as for the second vehicle, it came after the incident had occurred which was a family member coming to help! Wow, and to think that the media tries to manipulate the facts/truth, it is IGNORANCE like yours!

  • Damian

    Jorge Zavala was a good man, a good father. My understanding is he was recently going through some life changes which caused him stress at levels I dont understand, but apparently he didn’t possess the coping skills needed to balance out his person. When David drove by Jorge that fatal night he was close enough to almost running over Jorges foot. This close drive is what prompted Jorge to throw the beer can at David’s car. David got out (even after knowing Jorge had a gun) proceeded to instigate Jorge to a breaking point by shoving him down not once but three times. Jorge even fired one shot in the air to get David to back off. David continued as the aggressor, pushed and pushed, all the while his family in the car. Jorge had the gun but still felt threaten by David and when David lunged at Jorge for the last time. Jorge shot David point blank in the chest, and then he turned the gun on himself. At the end, 6 kids are left without fathers and two families left to mourn.

  • us

    i wonder if the stellar SGV Tribune investigative crime reporting team will get us the details?

    most likely, they’ll just print the sensational and move on with no regard for responsible journalism.

    all you guys do is report crime and death and nothing like investigative work…save for that pathetic Rockefeller story you kept feeding us.

  • Jan

    I heard about this story from someone that lives in the neighborhood;i’m reading your comments about this situation. First of all, i’m really sorry for your guys loss. You guys have unanswered questions and are all still puzzled so you’re taking it out on each other on this website. I think it’s best to stop the comments because it only makes matters worse. Right now it’s important to pray for your loved ones not argue why this why that..bottom line, they are gone. My next comment is this: Anyone that confronts a person under the influence AND armed with a loaded gun is not that bright of a person; Dave should have walked away and left it alone. Anyone that has to walk around with a loaded gun in their jacket, pocket or whatever, is not so bright himself. We all know this world is crazy but doesn’t make it right to walk around with a loaded gun! Adrenaline, alcohol and a gun dont mix! period.

  • Jan M.

    I heard about this story from someone that lives in the neighborhood;i’m reading your comments about this situation. First of all, i’m really sorry for your guys loss. You guys have unanswered questions and are all still puzzled so you’re taking it out on each other on this website. I think it’s best to stop the comments because it only makes matters worse. Right now it’s important to pray for your loved ones not argue why this why that..bottom line, they are gone. My next comment is this: Anyone that confronts a person under the influence AND armed with a loaded gun is not that bright of a person; Dave should have walked away and left it alone. Anyone that has to walk around with a loaded gun in their jacket, pocket or whatever, is not so bright himself. We all know this world is crazy but doesn’t make it right to walk around with a loaded gun! Adrenaline, alcohol and a gun dont mix! period.