Probe continues into slaying of 19-year-old Montebello man

MONTEBELLO — Detectives continued their investigation Wednesday into the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Montebello man as he left a convenience store with a can of cola over the weekend.
Kenneth Deras died at the scene of Sunday’s 1 a.m. shooting in the parking lot of a strip mall in the 700 block of West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles County coroner’s officials said.
Deras was a documented gang member, and the killing is believed to be gang-related, Sgt. Robert Martindale of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Deras had just purchased a can of Pepsi from a nearby 7-Eleven store when a vehicle approached and a gunman exited, the sergeant said.
Initial indication revealed the assailant made a very brief statement asking Deras about his gang affiliation, Martindale said.
It appeared Deras, still clutching the soft drink can, tried to run when the gunman opened fire and fatally wounded him, Martindale said.
The killer got back into the vehicle in which he arrived, which was believed to be occupied by one or two additional people, he added.
Detectives withheld a description of the gunman due to the “very open and fluid” investigation, Martindale said.
He said detectives had leads to follow in the case, but declined to elaborate.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
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