EL MONTE >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 20-year-old man who died in a shooting that also left a teenage boy wounded in El Monte on Tuesday night.
Esteban Bustamante of South El Monte died following the 11 p.m. attack at Garvey and Durfee avenues, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
He was riding as a rear passenger in a car, as was the teenage victim who survived his wounds, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. A woman driving the victims’ car, as well as a second woman riding as a front passenger, escaped injury.
The victims were stopped at a red light, facing north on Durfee Avenue, when a gray compact car driven by the killer pulled up alongside their car, Deputy Trina Schrader of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“A verbal interaction occurred between the occupants of both vehicles,” Schrader said. “During the course of the verbal interaction, a male Hispanic exited the driver side of the suspect’s vehicle, approached the victim’s vehicle and shot multiple rounds into the rear passenger compartment.”
The shooter then got back into his car and sped away.
The woman at the wheel of the victim’s car drove the wounded man and boy to Greater El Monte Community Hospital in South El Monte, Schrader said.
Bustamante died within minutes of arriving there, coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
No further information, including a detailed suspect description, have been released.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is assisting El Monte police in the investigation, at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
A man led deputies on a chase from West Whittier to South El Monte in a carjacked car before being captured by a sheriff’s SWAT team on Sunday morning, officials said.
Robert Larry Gutierrez, 34, was jailed following the pursuit, which began about 7:30 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva said. His hometown was not available.
Deputies patrolling over the unincorporated county area of West Whittier in a helicopter detected a signal from a LoJack vehicle tracker in the area of Washington and Norwalk boulevards, the lieutenant said. The vehicle had been reported carjacked in South Gate earlier in the morning.
“It looked like he was going to pull over initially, but then he took off,” Villanueva said.
Gutierrez led deputies on a 6-mile chase that ended when he abandoned his car along Peck Road at the 60 Freeway in South El Monte and fled into a nearby brush area, according to Villanueva.
Deputies summoned a sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau SWAT Team to track down the suspect in the dense vegetation. A sheriff’s helicopter landed on the freeway in order to rush deputies to the scene.
The SWAT deputies, aided by a K-9, soon found Gutierrez hiding in the brush and took him into custody.
He was being booked on suspicion of driving a car without the owner’s consent, felony evading and possession of cocaine, Villanueva said. The earlier carjacking was being investigated by the South Gate Police Department.
The westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway were closed down for nearly half-an-hour as deputies searched for and apprehended the suspect.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
SAN GABRIEL >> A man shot and killed his mother before turning the gun on himself in a San Gabriel apartment on Saturday night, authorities said.
The suspected murder-suicide was first reported at 10:08 p.m. inside an apartment in a large apartment complex on a residential cul-de-sac in the 1300 block of Stevens Avenue, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, who are assisting San Gabriel police in the investigation.
Police responded to the home after receiving a report of “shots fired,” Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Officers found a man and woman suffering from gunshot wounds inside the apartment, officials said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Homicide detectives determined the man, described as 49 years old, fatally shot his mother before shooting himself, according to Alexander.
The identities of the woman and son were not available.
No further details were available early Sunday.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
MONROVIA >> Police are seeking two women who they say sprayed a security guard with pepper spray in order to steal purses from a Monrovia discount department store late Friday.
The robbery unfolded just after 8 p.m. at Marshall’s, 564 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia police Lt. Rob Wilken said.
A security guard noticed two women leaving the store with handbags they hadn’t paid for and confronted them about the theft, he said.
One of the women pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed the security guard, according to the lieutenant.
The women then fled, with the stolen purses, in a red Dodge Charger, he said. They were last seen headed west on Huntington Drive.
A detailed description of the suspects was not available. The security guard was treated by paramedics for pepper spray exposure, but did not require to be taken to a hospital.
Anyone with information can reach Monrovia police at 626-256-8000. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PICO RIVERA >> A man died after being struck by a Union Pacific freight train in Pico Rivera late Friday, authorities said.
The incident took place just after 11:40 p.m. on a set of tracks near Durfee Avenue and Stephens Street, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner officials.
The man’s identity was not released Saturday pending notification of his family, coroner’s Lt. David Smith said. He was described as being in his 50s.
An autopsy was pending. No further details were available.
LA MIRADA >> A man died after he was shot while driving in La Mirada late Friday, authorities said.
The deadly car-to-car shooting was reported about 8:30 p.m. in the 14100 block of Mansa Drive, just west of Valley View Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The identity of the victim, described as a 29-year-old man, was not released Saturday.
“Homicide Bureau investigators believe the victim was driving north on Parise Drive, turning onto Mansa Drive, while the suspect’s vehicle turned south on Parise Drive from Mansa Drive,” Deputy Trina Schrader of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. “As the two vehicles were passing each other, gunshots were fired from the suspect’s vehicle into the victim’s vehicle.”
Officials said the victim’s car continued traveling east and struck the attached garage of a home along Mansa Drive. No one at the home was hurt.
Paramedics took the wounded man to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:09 p.m., coroner’s records show. He had been shot in the “upper torso,” Schrader said.
The attacker or attackers fled south on Parise Drive, then west on Lynmark Street and out of sight in a light-colored vehicle, she said. No further description was available.
The motive in the attack was unclear. No further details were available.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PASADENA >> Suicide is suspected after a teenage girl plummeted to her death from the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena on Friday afternoon, officials said.
The incident was first reported about 2:45 p.m. on the bridge spanning the Arroyo Seco, Pasadena police Lt. Javier Aguilar said.
Witnesses first reported seeing a young woman who appeared as though she was preparing to leap from the bridge, he said. Callers then reported the person had plummeted from the 144-foot-tall structure.
Paramedics pronounced the teenage girl dead at the scene.
Coroner’s officials will conduct a death investigation, however, foul play was not initially suspected, Aguilar said.
SOUTH PASADENA >> Detectives on Friday arrested the father of a 5-year-old South Pasadena boy, who’s been missing for two months, on suspicion of the child’s murder, authorities said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives arrested 35-year-old Aramazd Andressian Sr. of South Pasadena about 1 p.m. in Las Vegas on suspicion of the murder Aramzd Andressian Jr., whose been missing since April 22, according to Deputy Grace Medrano of the sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The arrest followed a murder charge filed against Andressian Sr. by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“After reviewing all of the evidence in this case, homicide investigators presented the facts to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and obtained a murder filing against the suspect,” Medrano said in a written statement.
“The suspect was booked at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department with a bail of $10 million and will return to Los Angeles County pending the extradition process,” she said.
Detectives were assisted in the arrest by the sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau Fugitive Taskforce, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Taskforce of the United States Marshals Service, she said.
Andressian Jr. was reported missing by his mother on April 22. He was last seen the day before while with his father, who failed to turn over the child to his mother for a scheduled custody exchange.
Andressian Sr., was found unconscious on April 22 near his car, which was parked at the Arroyo Seco Park in South Pasadena. The vehicle was doused in gasoline and there was a rag sticking out of the gas tank.
He told police he had taken prescription pills that belonged to someone else and did not know what had happened to his son.
A massive search for the missing boy ensued in the following weeks, with officials and volunteers scouring every place the man and son were known to have visited, including the Arroyo Seco Park and the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area in Santa Barbara County.
Andressian Jr.’s remains have not been discovered, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.
Attorney Daniel Nardoni, who is representing Andressian Sr., said he was surprised to learn of the murder charge Friday afternoon.
“I’m shocked and surprised, particularly when you have someone, a client, who’s adamant that he does not know the whereabouts of his son, nor did he do anything to harm him,” Nardoni said.
The lawyer said he spoke with Andressian Sr. and advised him to waive extradition proceedings to speed up the legal process. Andressian Sr. was expected to appear in court in Nevada early next week.
No further details were released Friday regarding the arrest of Andressian Sr. Officials planned to discuss the case in more detail at a scheduled press conference on Monday.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
PASADENA >> A Georgia man arrested with an assault rifle, a pistol, silencers, ammunition and a machete after he was caught urinating in public at a Pasadena Gold Line station earlier this week pleaded not guilty to a series of criminal charged on Friday, authorities said.
Prosecutors charged Christopher Harrison Goodine, 28, with two counts of possession of a silencer, two counts of possession of a high-capacity magazine, one count of possession of an assault weapon and one count of carrying a loaded, unregistered handgun, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
He denied the charges and was ordered back to the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for a hearing on July 10, officials said.
Sheriff’s deputies first approached Goodine about 9 a.m. Wednesday after seeing him urinating in a planter outside the Sierra Madre Villa Metro Gold Line Station, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
A search of a duffel bag he was carrying revealed an AR-15-style rifle equipped with a silencer and 30-round magazines, a .40-caliber pistol fitted with a silencer and a high-capacity magazine, extra ammunition and a large machete.
It was unclear why he was carrying the weapons, or what he may have intended to do with them.
If convicted as charged, Goodine faces up to six years and four months in county jail, Ardalani said.
Goodine was initially being held in lieu of $10,000 bail, county booking records show. Prosecutors said they planned to seek an increase in bail to $1 million.
MONTEREY PARK >> Federal investigators arrested a Monterey Park woman Thursday who they say injected an “unknown substance” into another woman’s buttocks as a cosmetic procedure, which ultimately required major surgery to correct.
Ana Bertha Diaz Hernandez, 47, was arrested Thursday afternoon following the filing of a criminal complaint charging her with receipt of an adulterated and misbranded medical device, misbranding prescription drugs and smuggling.
The complaint alleged Hernandez injected a victim with the substance four times, starting in late-2015 and continuing into 2016 at a detached “treatment room” behind Hernandez home in the 600 block of South Garfield Avenue. The victim, identified in court documents as “I.T.,” suffered serious complications from the injection, and the substance had to be removed through a major operation. Additional treatment is also needed in the future.
“During a series of treatments that cost thousands of dollars, (Hernandez) explained to I.T. that she was injecting a ‘natural product,’ at points claiming the injections were ‘lamb’s fat,” U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
The victim paid more than $5,000 to Hernandez for the procedures, which were intended to maker her buttocks appear “bigger and plump,” according to the complaint.
The woman who received the injection contacted the California Department of Consumer Affair’s Operation Safe Medicine Unit in late-2016 after developing pain.
“I.T. stated that the product (Hernandez) had injected into her buttocks had migrated to her ‘back, hips and legs,” Mrozek said. The woman ultimately received an operation from a doctor specializing in reversing cosmetic procedures.
The victim met Hernandez through a friend, who recommended Hernandez’s services, according to an affidavit filed in support of the case. Hernandez described herself as an esthetician and claimed she had been trained to do the injection procedure by a doctor in Mexico.
“(Hernandez) told I.T. that the product was safe and will stay in place until the day she dies,” the affidavit states. “(Hernandez) told I.T. that she has used the product on herself and others.
The suspects further told I.T. that she obtains the substance from Mexico, and that, “the product is so popular that she had to leave the country to by some more.”
The exact substance injected by Hernandez has not been determined, but it is believed to have been silicone, officials said. Silicone has never been approved by the FDA for body contouring purposes, and is considered dangerous even if administered by a doctor.
“Included among the risks of such injections are the potential of injection into a blood vessel resulting in embolism, migration of injected silicone to other bodily regions and resultant interference with organs and bodily systems, serious sepsis infection and infection-related disorders, silicone-filled scar tissue formations, necrosis, skin discoloration, immune system hyperactivity and related adverse systemic conditions, disfigurement, discomfort and pain,” according to the criminal complaint.
If convicted as charged, Hernandez faces up to 26 years in federal prison. She was scheduled to make her initial court appearance Friday in federal court in Los Angeles.