UPDATED: Whittier man fatally shot in his front yard; suspect surrenders


WHITTIER >> A suspect turned himself in early Sunday in connection with the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old Whittier man in the front yard of his Whittier home, authorities said.
Augustin Garcia, 27, of Whittier, was arrested on suspicion of murder at 1:50 a.m. after he arrived at the Whittier Police Department and surrendered, according to Whittier police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Coroner’s officials had not officially identified the shooting victim Sunday as his body remained at the hospital, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
But his girlfriend, 22-year-old Gloria Alvarado, identified him as Richard “Richie” Mationg.
Police responded to reports of gunshots just after 9 p.m. Saturday in the 5800 block of Ben Alder Avenue, according to Whittier police Officer Brad White.
“When officers arrived, they located a 22-year-old male lying in the front yard of his residence with what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to his chest,” White said in a written statement.
0512_NWS_WDN-L-WHITFATAL2The badly wounded man was rushed to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was pronounced dead at 9:47 p.m., Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
“An unidentified male suspect was seen fleeing the location in a silver vehicle,” White said.
As the investigation continued, Garcia showed up at the police station Sunday morning and surrendered in connection with the shooting.
The suspect and victim were believed to know each other, officials said, however further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were not available.
Alvarado and friends of Mationg gathered at a memorial of candles, flowers and photos of Mationg, along with his favorite beers and snack foods. They said they didn’t know anyone by the name of Augustin Garcia.
Mationg had lived at the Ben Alder Avenue home with his family for about 12 years, Alvarado said.
He worked at a CVS Pharmacy and was expected to make manager soon, she said. He had just purchased a new car — a 2012 Dodge Avenger — and was yet to make his first payment on it.
“There are just a lot of people that loved him,” Alvarado said.
“He was the funniest person ever. He gave good advice,” she added. “He was a really good guy.”
Friend Amber Ventura, 22, also mourned Sunday at the roadside memorial.
Ventura said Mationg “looked out for everybody. He was like a big brother.”
Garcia was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending his initial court appearance, according to booking records.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Whittier Police Department.

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