Three killed in Pasadena shooting; suspect in custody


PASADENA >> A man armed with a rifle allegedly shot and killed three people, wounded two more and opened fire on a police officer before ultimately surrendering Saturday afternoon.
The 4:20 p.m. shooting in the 1700 block of North Summit Avenue was believed to have stemmed from a dispute between a landlord and tenant, though the details were not yet clear, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said.
The shooter was identified as 35-year-old John Izeal Smith of Pasadena.

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Photo by James Carbone

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Police: West Covina man accidentally shoots son-in-law

WEST COVINA — A man accidentally shot his son-in-law while showing him a handgun Friday afternoon, police said.
The incident, which was being investigated as an accidental shooting, was reported about 4:40 p.m. at a home in the 900 block of South Russelee Drive, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
A 9mm bullet penetrated a 28-year-old man’s wrist after the handgun, which his father-in-law was holding, discharged, the lieutenant said.
“He was reportedly showing a weapon to a relative when the weapon inadvertently went off,” Patton said.
Paramedics took the injured man to a hospital with an injury not considered to be life-threatening.
The men’s account of the shooting was corroborated by other witnesses at the scene, Patton added.
Police seized the involved gun, Patton said. Though it appeared the shooting was an accident, “We will do a comprehensive investigation.”

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Suspect jailed in connection with fatal Montebello shooting

A suspect is behind bars in connection with the fatal shooting of a Montebello man earlier this month, authorities said.
Montebello police investigators arrested Michael Joseph Fimbres, 44, of Montebello Wednesday in Pomona, according to Montebello police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
He was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail on a lesser felony charge Friday at the Montebello Police Department’s jail pending an expected murder charge, officials said. The date of his next court date was not available late Friday.
He’s accused of the July 1 fatal shooting of 35-year-old Frank Burnell Taylor of Montebello, who was found mortally wounded in the 500 block of Maple Street about 7:15 p.m., police and Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s officials said. Burnell was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives began seeking Fimbres after identifying early in the investigation as a suspect in Burnell’s slaying, Montebello police Sgt. Julio Calleros said. They had been keeping Fimbres under surveillance when they stopped a car he was in and arrested without incident about noon Wednesday on Fairplex Drive near the 10 Freeway in Pomona.
The suspect and victim were not strangers to one another, though the nature of their relationship was not certain, Calleros said.
“They were acquainted. They knew each other,” he said.
Calleros said the fatal shooting was believed to have been motivated by a “personal dispute.” He declined to discuss the dispute between the men in further detail.
Burnell was walking along Maple Street when nan attacker, later identified as Fimbres, approached in small pickup truck, Lt. Andy Vuncanon said.
Fimbres exited the truck, approached Burnell, pulled a handgun and shot the victim once in the chest, the lieutenant said.

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Newborn boy surrendered at Pico Rivera fire station; second Safe Surrender this week

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PICO RIVERA — For the second time in three days, a mother has turned over a newborn infant to authorities under Los Angeles County’s Safe Surrender program, Supervisor Don Knabe’s office announced Friday.
A baby boy was surrendered Wednesday at a Los Angeles County Fire Department station in Pico Rivera, Knabe representatives said in a written statement.
Another newborn, a girl, was turned over to officials at a Lynwood hospital Sunday.
The Safe Surrender program was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2001, with the goal of giving mothers who are unable to care for their babies a safe, anonymous way to turn the children over to authorities, rather than potentially abandoning them.
“It’s incredible that we have had two Safe Surrenders in one week,” Knabe said. “As word continues to spread about the program, mothers in a desperate situation learn that they have a better option. Because of their courageous decisions, these babies have a chance at a new life with a loving family.”
As always, the surrendered newborns were taken into protective custody prior to being placed with foster families by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
Under the Safe Surrender Program, newborn infants no more than three days old maybe anonymously handed over to officials at hospitals or fire stations, provided the infants show no signs of abuse.
Nine babies have been surrendered in Los Angeles County under the program this year, and 122 newborns have been surrendered since the programs inceptions 13 years ago.
For more information on the Safe Surrender Program, visit www.babysafela.org.

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Pasadena police plan traffic enforcement campaigns Monday

PASADENA — Pasadena police will be out in force enforcing traffic laws Monday, focusing speeding in the morning, then shifting their focus to red light violations in the afternoon, officials said.
Officers will take part in a speed enforcement campaign during the morning hours, beginning at 6 a.m., Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said in a written statement.
“Speeding is the third highest cause of traffic deaths and the number one cause of serious injuries on California roadways,” Hettema said.
Police will focus on citing red light runners from noon to 4 p.m., Hettema said.
“The ultimate goal is to enforce and educate the driving public, at the same time reducing serious injuries and fatal collisions,” the lieutenant said.
Funding for both campaigns is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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DUI ‘saturation patrol’ planned tonight in Pasadena

PASADENA — Police will field extra officers on Pasadena streets Friday night to hunt for intoxicated drivers, authorities said.
A DUI “saturation enforcement” campaign will take place from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said in a written statement. Officers will focus their efforts on area with high rates of DUI collisions or arrests.
Over the past three years in Pasadena, four people have died and 102 people have been hurt in DUI-related crashes, Hettema said.
Funding for the extra patrols is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Hundreds flock to Whittier park for @hiddencash scavenger hunt

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WHITTIER >> The philanthropic social media phenomenon known as @hiddencash surfaced at a Whittier park Thursday night, where hundreds of people showed up to take part in a scavenger hunt by flashlight.
Secluded Penn Park became the latest scene of the Twitter-fueled frenzy after the @hiddencash Twitter account first gave clues to the location where Pez candy dispensers stuffed with cash had been hidden. A handful of treasure hunters who solved the clues arrived first at the secluded park, followed by hundreds more when @hiddencash announced the park by name about 9:30 p.m.
Twenty-five Pez dispensers were hidden at the park, along with two boxes of Pez dispensers, according to @hiddencash.
The candy dispensers contained $40 to $50, while the bonus boxes included $100.
Vanessa Garcia, 26, of Whittier found a Pez dispenser containing $40.
“I’ve never seen so many people here, especially at night,” Garcia said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Garcia’s sister, 22-year-old Alejandra Garcia of Whittier, found one of the bonus boxes.
Alejandra Garcia said she had not yet decided what to do with her newly-found $100. “I haven’t thought about it,” she said.
Kim Vaughn, 43, of Whittier said she was thrilled the scavenger hunt was being held in her town. She searched Penn Park with her husband and children.
“We’ve been following (@hiddencash) all along, just waiting for one nearby,” Vaughn said.
Some searchers brought large flashlights with them. Others searched by the light of their cell phones.
Additionally, @hiddencash tweeted late Thursday that additional loose bills had been hidden along Greenleaf Avenue in Uptown Whittier.
The cash seekers took it in stride when the park sprinklers turned on midway through the event.
“Sorry about the sprinklers! Didn’t plan that,” @hiddencash tweeted.
And while the atmosphere was festive, not everyone was thrilled with the large event at the park in a residential neighborhood, accessible only by one street. Traffic became gridlocked along Penn Street during the scavenger hunt.
“This is awful,” Anthony Nerlino, 26, of Whittier said as people climbed through bushes, next to signs advising visitors to stay out of the shrubbery.
“How much is it going to cost to fix that,” Nerlino said.
Police dealt with large crowds and traffic due to the event, but no major incidents were reported, Whittier police Capt. Aviv Bar said. The park was to be checked in the morning for any possible damage.
Another money drop, this time in Orange County, was to be announced at 10 a.m. Friday, according to @hiddencash.

PHOTO by Keith Durflinger – GALLERY

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UPDATED: Brush fire reported again in San Dimas Canyon, arson suspected

SAN DIMAS — Officials suspected arson Thursday after firefighters quickly doused a small but suspicious brush fire in the San Dimas Canyon Thursday afternoon, for the fourth time this week, authorities said.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies first reported spotting the fire at 3:47 p.m. along San Dimas Canyon Road, near Golden Hills Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims said.
Firefighters had extinguished the flames at 6:02 p.m., before they consumed more than a 50-foot by 50-foot portion of brush at the base of the canyon.
The cause was under investigation, however Sgt. Louie Serrano of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station said investigated suspected Thursday’s fire was “most likely arson.”
Deputies, who first reported the fire after spotting it while performing extra patrols in the area due to the recent fires, saw several vehicles leaving the area but could not determine if any of them had been involved in the fire.
“We’re not detaining anybody. We don’t have anybody that saw anybody light this,” Serrano said.
Thursday’s fire was the fourth time since Sunday that firefighters have responded to brush fires in the same area.
Another fire reported shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday nearby along Horsethief Canyon Road was ruled arson, Serrano said.
Wednesday’s fire scorched about half an acre of brush before being extinguished, authorities said.
Two other fires broke out Sunday afternoon, officials said. An update on the cause of those fires was not available late Thursday.
None of the fires have resulted in property damage, officials said.

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UPDATED: Person killed in Monterey Park car crash

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MONTEREY PARK — One person died and another was hospitalized with major injuries following a crash on Monterey Pass Road in Monterey Park Thursday afternoon.
The crash was reported at 3:43 p.m. in the 500 block of Monterey Pass Road, just southwest of Fremont Avenue, Monterey Park police Lt. Eric Kim said.
The investigation remained in its early stages, however it initially appeared a car travelling on Monterey Pass Road struck parked vehicle, the lieutenant said.
Witnesses indicated the car, which appeared to be an Infiniti sedan, had been travelling at a “very high rate of speed,” prior to the crash, Kim said. One witness estimated the Infiniti was travelling in excess of 100 mph before crashing.
No one was inside the Nissan SUV struck by the speeding car, officials said.
Paramedics pronounced one person dead at the scene, Kim said. A second person was hospitalized in critical condition.
The two occupants of the car were initially described only as male.
A utility poll was struck in the crash, and the sedan that struck the parked car ultimately struck a nearby commercial building, creating a hole in the wall about the size of two basketballs, before coming to a rest upside down.
Monterey Pass Road was shut down in both directions as police conducted an investigation.
No further details were available.

PHOTO by Keith Durflinger

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Man uses knife to rob Pasadena liquor store, flees on skateboard

PASADENA — A man with a skateboard used a large knife to rob a Pasadena liquor store Thursday, police said.
The crime took place just before 11 a.m. when the robber entered Pat’s Liquors, 1072 block of East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“He walked into the liquor store, produced a knife (and) told a clerk that he wanted all the money from the cash register,” Clawson said. The man working at the store turned over a “small amount” of money.
Police said the robber was last seen on a skateboard heading south on Catalina Avenue. He was described a white or Latino man in his 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, wearing a gray T-shirt and black shorts.

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