Victim, ‘person of interest’ identified in La Puente slaying

LA PUENTE — Authorities Friday released the name of a 41-year-old La Puente man killed in a shooting outside a liquor store earlier this month as the investigation began to focus on a “person of interest,” officials said.
Jose Carlos Garcia died at a hospital shortly after the 9:30 p.m. shooting Aug. 1 in the parking lot of K & B liquor, in the 400 block of South Azusa Avenue, just north of Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said.
A motive in the shooting remained unclear Friday, however detectives had identified another local man, already in custody on suspicion of unrelated crimes, as a “person of interest” in the slaying, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
Roberto Hernandez, 38, was arrested Tuesday by gang detectives from the sheriff’s Industry Station on suspicion of vandalism and violating parole, Hernandez said. According to county booking records, he was being held without bail pending an initial court appearance.
Though investigators did not have enough evidence to warrant a murder charge against Roberto Hernandez, detectives considered him a “person of interest” in the fatal shooting, the lieutenant said.
Garcia was shot and fatally wounded following an argument with another man outside the liquor store, where both men had made purchases just before the shooting, investigators said.
Witnesses reported hearing an argument and gunshots, but not seeing the attack, he said. Low-quality surveillance footage collected from a nearby camera indicated the killer was a Latino man in his 30s with short hair, wearing a gray T-shirt, Hernandez said.
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