Suspect sketch released in Monrovia shooting that left one teen dead, another wounded

 
MONROVIA >> Determined homicide investigators and devastated family members reached out to the public on Thursday to help find the gunman who killed one teenager and wounded another in an attack inside a Monrovia garage last month.
Eighteen-year-old Canyon Oaks High School senior Oscar Andrew Garcia died in the late-night shooting on April 22 in the detached garage of a back house in the 100 block of West Cypress Street, just west of Myrtle Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
A 17-year-old boy was wounded in the shooting, and a teenage girl escaped injury.
Garcia and the other shooting victim did not live at the home, but were visiting the girl when the shooting took place, officials said.
“All three entered the garage and were hanging out as most teenagers do,” Lt. Joe Mendoza of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. “Suddenly, and without provocation, the suspect appeared at the garage door and pointed a handgun toward them. A brief verbal exchange occurred and the suspect opened fire.”
Detectives declined to discuss what words were spoken in the moments before the shooting.
Paramedics pronounced Garcia dead at the scene. “His male friend was struck by gunfire but miraculously survived his injuries,” Mendoza said.
Following the shooting, the gunman fled through an alley running behind the property, according to officials.
In hopes of generating leads in the investigation, authorities released a composite sketch of the suspect.
The killer is described as a Latino man between 20 and 25 years old, about 6 feet tall, of medium build, Mendoza said. He had a light complexion, brown eyes, short black hair and a goatee, and he wore a black baseball cap with an unknown logo emblazoned on it.
The motive in the shooting remained a mystery, and detectives knew of no reason anyone would target Garcia or his friends, Mendoza said.
While it appeared the garage in which the victims were hanging out was targeted by the shooter, “We don’t believe the victims were the targets of the assault,” Mendoza said. Investigators had not ruled out the possibility of mistaken identity.
Garcia was scheduled to graduate high school in June, Mendoza said. He then planned to study photography at Pasadena City College.
The young man was a lifelong Monrovia resident.
“He enjoyed skateboarding, taking photos, attending church with family and he played soccer for his high school team,” the lieutenant said.
Garcia was often seen holding up two fingers in a “peace” sign, his mother, Guadalupe Castaneda said.
“It’s been so hard for me and my family. We miss Oscar,” she said. “He loved his family, loved his friends. He would always go to extra mile to help others. He didn’t deserve to end this way, or any other way.”
“My son was an excellent kid. He loved skateboarding. That was his passion. That’s how he met a lot of friends,” Castaneda said. “He touched everyone in the community.”
Castaneda and Mendoza both implored anyone with information on the case, or anyone who recognized the composite sketch of the suspect, to come forward.
“No family deserved to go through this,” Castaneda said. “Please, please, someone knows something… don’t be afraid. Love has to overcome all of this. No violence please.”
In addition to his mother, Garcia is survived by five siblings, nieces and a nephew.
Donations to benefit Garcia’s family are being collected online at www.gofundme.com/oscar-garcia-funeral-memorial.
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.

SUSPECT SKETCH/VICTIM PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Reward renewed in ‘savage’ slaying of Diamond Bar couple during home-invasion

DIAMOND BAR >> County officials renewed a $20,000 reward this week for information leading to the capture and conviction of the person or people who “savagely” stabbed a Diamond Bar couple to death during an apparent home-invasion robbery last year.
A family friend who went to check on Chen “David” Long Wang, 60, and Mei “Marian” Chu Chung, 57, found them stabbed to death on Oct. 20, 2016, at their house in the 3300 block of Bent Twig Lane, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
Between $10,000 and $15,000 in cash was believed to have been stolen from the couple’s home during the crime, Lt. Steve Katz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau said. He described the double-slaying as “savage” and “brutal.”
The case remains unsolved.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered a $20,000 reward for information on the slaying in March. The reward west set to expire this week, prompting Supervisor Janice Hahn and the Board of Supervisors to renew the reward on Tuesday for another 90 days.
The $20,000 in reward money offered by the county is complimented by another $10,000 in reward money offered in the case by the City of Diamond Bar, for a total available reward of $30,000.
Wang was described by family and investigators as a retired computer programmer, and Chung was a retired teacher and art instructor. They are survived by two children, who are both medical doctors, and several grandchildren.
“If you have any information pertaining to the murder of Marian and David, I urge you to come forward. They deserve justice. Their children and grandchildren deserve answers,” Hahn said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted
Anyone with information related to the murder should call sheriff’s homicide Detectives Margarita Barron or Dameron Peyton at (323) 890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man and woman charged with Whittier-area random shooting rampage

Prosecutors filed a murder charge, 14 attempted murder charges and other allegations on Thursday and a man and woman they say embarked on a random shooting spree in the Whittier area over the weekend that left one man dead and three others wounded.
Alejandro Lazo, 21, and his girlfriend Reyna Gomez, 26, both of Whittier, who themselves were shot and wounded under mysterious circumstances following Saturday’s mobile rampage, have previously been considered “persons of interest,” in the series of violent crimes. Both suspects are self-described gang members with criminal records.
But Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau Capt. Christopher Bergner announced Thursday that the couple has been formally arrested in connection with the crime spree.
And the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed one count of murder, 14 counts of attempted murder and one count of carjacking against each defendant, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling. Gomez was additionally charged with torture for allegedly shooting a man in the groin during the bizarre attacks that unfolded in Whittier, La Mirada and Pico Rivera.
There was no known motive or explanation for the rampage, Bergner said.
“These were senseless acts of violence, acts committed on innocent people that were merely enjoying the day, running errands, in what they believed to be a safe area,” the captain said. “The individuals that were victims of this crime, these were random targets of violence that were unprovoked.”
The investigation continues, and detectives are seeking additional suspects believed to have played roles in portions of Saturday’s crime spree, Bergner said. He declined to comment further regarding any outstanding suspects.
In addition, “They’re also reviewing similar crimes in the area to see of the suspects were also involved in any additional crimes that we haven’t yet reported,” Bergner said.
The spate of violence began about 1 p.m. Saturday in the 10000 block of Carmenita Road in South Whittier, where a man was wounded in the leg in a drive-by shooting. The attackers, later identified as Lazo and Gomez, were in a white Kia Rio when they carried out the Carmenita Road shooting.
The suspect turned up again about 2:15 p.m. in the 11100 block of Rosehedge Drive in Pico Rivera, where they carjacked a man at gunpoint and fled in his green Nissan Pathfinder SUV, Deputy Lilian Peck of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. The victim was unhurt.
Just over an hour later, another shooting linked to the couple was reported behind a Starbucks coffee shop at Whittier Boulevard and Colima Road, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said. Gomez is accused of shooting a man in the groin from as he walked down the street, resulting in the torture charge filed against her, officials said. The victim, a man in his 50s, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspects then headed down Colima Road in the carjacked Pathfinder and opened fire at two motorists who were stopped at a traffic light near Lambert Road, Peck said. No one was injured in the car-to-car attacks.
The shooters continued south to Imperial Highway and La Mirada Boulevard, where they shot a man in the arm as he was sitting in a car about 4 p.m., according to Peck.
“Norwalk Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to the La Mirada shooting but quickly learned another shooting occurred just south of them, at the intersection of Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road, La Mirada,” Peck said.
“The fourth victim, Jose Ricardo Sahagun, a 44-year-old father of two little boys, was struck multiple times with gunfire as he sat in his car, waiting at a traffic light. Other victims in nearby vehicles were also fired upon indiscriminately, but Jose cwas the only person injured and he was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Sahagun succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
The search for the killers continued for more than two hours before deputies found the carjacked Nissan Pathfinder abandoned at Amelia Mayberry Park in South Whittier shortly after 6 p.m.,Peck said. “It was there the suspects unloaded the vehicle they used as a mobile gun turret,” she said.
But gunfire erupted again about 8 p.m., this time outside a motel in the 15000 block of Carmenita Road, authorities said. This time, it was the suspects who had been wounded in a shooting.
“Both suspects were shot in the torso and when they realized the gravity of their injuries, they flagged down a concerned citizen and asked her to dial 911 for them,” Peck said.
Lazo and Gomez were found sitting in the white Rio believed to have used in the first shooting of the spree, officials said. A gun was recovered from the car, and has since been linked to the numerous nearby crimes scenes, Bergner said.
The circumstance of the suspect’ shooting remains under investigation by the Whittier Police Department. No suspect description was available.
Family members of Sahagun thanked the police and God for the arrests in the slaying of their loved one, as well as the community for its outpouring of support.
The Compton social worker and former school teacher left behind a wife and two sons, ages 4 and 7.
“While this is a positive step toward justice and closure, there’s no reconciling of the fact that the taking of a n innocent life has devastated both our family, and the community,” Maria Del Rosario Sahagun.
Family members described Jose Sahagun as an example for the community.
A fund to benefit Jose Sahagun has been set up online at www.gofundme.com/jose-ricardo-sahagun.
A viewing for Jose Sahagun has been scheduled for 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdau at the All Souls Mortuary, 4400 Cherry Ave. in Long Beach.
A Mass will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 8545 Norwalk Blvd. in Whittier, to be followed by burial at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach.
Detectives described both Lazo and Gomez as self-identified gang members but declined to name the gang they belong to.
Both were released from jail late last year after serving time for prior convictions, officials said.
Los Angeles County court records show Lazo pleaded guilty to extortion and assault with a deadly weapon on Feb. 23, 2016. On the same date, he was also convicted of possession of methamphetamine on a separate case. He pleaded no contest to petty theft on Dec. 26. 2014.
Gomez pleaded no contest to possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia on July 6, 2015. She also pleaded no contest to possession of methamphetamine on July 9, 2015 and to possession of methamphetamine for sale on Jan. 8, 2014.
Gomez was convicted of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and possession of marijuana for sale on June 11, 2012.
She pleaded no contest to four counts of vandalism on Sept. 23, 2010 and one count of vandalism on Jan. 31, 2011. She was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on Oct. 20, 2009.
According to county booking records, Lazo was being held without bail, while Gomez was being held in lieu of $12 million bail. They were scheduled to make their initial court appearance Friday in the Downey branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
If convicted as charged, the suspects could both spend the rest of their lives in prison.


— Staff writer Ruby Gonzales contributed to this report.

PHOTOS: (crime scene map and picture of victim Jose Sahagun courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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UPDATED: One man dead, several others wounded in spate of shootings in Whittier, La Mirada areas; Man and woman in SUV sought

One man died and several other people were wounded in a string of shootings in the Whittier, La Mirada and Norwalk areas on Saturday afternoon which were believed to linked to the same carjacked car, authorities said.
The attacks took place beginning about 3:30 p.m. in the jurisdictions of the Whittier Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Norwalk Station, according to Whittier police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials. A man died at a hospital following one of the shootings in La Mirada, officials said.
The series of crimes was believed to have begun with the carjacking of a dark green or black Nissan Pathfinder SUV in the Pico Rivera area about 3 p.m., officials said.
The vehicle was occupied by a man and a woman, both armed with guns, when it pulled through the rear alley of a Starbucks coffee shop at Whittier Boulevard and Colima Road about 3:30 p.m., Whittier police Lt. Brian Ellis said. A man in his 50s was walking in the alley.
“The suspects pulled up to him and shot him in the leg,” Ellis said. The victim was treated for injuries not believed to be life threatening.
There was no apparent motive for the attack, which appeared to be random, he said.
The SUV then headed south on Colima Road, where the attackers opened fire on another car at Colima Road and Lambert Road, according to Ellis. The victim’s car was struck, but no one inside was injured.
The SUV was last seen heading west on Lambert Road following the car-to-car shooting.
The same SUV is believed to be linked to a fatal shooting about 30 minutes later in La Mirada, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
A man was shot and mortally wounded about 4 p.m. at Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead,” according to the statement.
Deputies were also looking into possible additional shootings.
“There are additional shootings in the surrounding areas involving multiple victims,” the sheriff’s department statement said. “The number of victims, as well as their conditions are unknown at this time. There is no additional information available at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.”
Deputies found the SUV believed to have been used in the shootings parked, unoccupied, at Mayberry Park in South Whittier shortly after 6 p.m., officials said. But the suspects remained at large.
The spate of violence followed another shooting in unincorporated South Whittier early Saturday afternoon in which a man was wounded.
A man was shot in the leg about 12:45 p.m. along Carmenita Road, just north of Telegraph Road, sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Nevarez said.
It was unclear whether the earlier afternoon shooting had any connection to the spate of shootings that occurred later in the afternoon.
Anyone with information can reach 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.

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La Puente man accused of DUI in deadly West Covina crash

WEST COVINA >> A 19-year-old La Puente man is accused of murder following an alleged DUI-related crash that claimed the life of one passenger and injured two others early Saturday, police said.
The crash took place about 3:50 a.m. on Lark Ellen Avenue, near Vine Avenue, West Covina police Lt. Ron Allen said.
Andrew James Gomez was at the wheel of a Chevrolet Cobalt when it veered off the roadway and struck a light pole along the west side of Lark Ellen Avenue, according to West Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
“The driver was ejected,” Allen said. “A rear passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Two additional passengers in the car were treated for minor injuries, Allen said.
Officials withheld the identity of the victim who died pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said. He was initially described only as a man.
Gomez was treated for his injuries before being booked on suspicion of murder, according to the lieutenant. Investigators determined he was under the influence of a substance. Further details were not available regarding what substance or substances were believed to be in his system.
The circumstances of the crash remain under investigation by West Covina Police Department’ Traffic Unit.
According to county booking records, Gomez was being held in lieu of $1 million bail the West Covina Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance.
Anyone with information can reach the traffic unit at 626-939-8555.

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UPDATED: Man gunned down while collecting charity donations in Norwalk

NORWALK >> Detectives are seeking the killer or killers of a 50-year-old man who was gunned down while soliciting charity donations in a residential Norwalk neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
The fatal shooting took place about 5:30 p.m. in the 14400 block of Dinard Avenue, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Information Bureau.
“Detectives have learned that the victim was shot and killed while walking down the street going door-to-door soliciting to paint addresses on the curb-lines,” Schrader said in a written statement.
The man was wounded several times in the “upper torso,” Schrader said Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Coroner’s officials did not formally identify the victim on Wednesday, however officials at the charity for which the man was working when he was shot identified him as Matthew Douglas Glover, 50, of Long Beach.
“Homicide detectives are actively searching for two male Hispanics in their early-20sm, driving a late-model, four-door, white sedan,” Deputy Carolina Rodriguez of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said. “Homicide detectives and the victim’s family are asking the public’s assistance in obtaining any information that will help solve this crime.”
The circumstances of the shooting remains a mystery.
Glover was collecting donations for the Whittier-based charity Care For The Children, according to organization director and founder, Robert Henderson.
Henderson said he’d been working with Glover on-and-off for the past 14 years, even before Care For The Children began in it’s current form in 2006. Glover moved back to Southern California, where he grew up, about two weeks ago after spending time staying with his parents in Arizona, where his mother recently died. He had been staying at a sober living house in Long Beach.
“Matt was one of those guys that the moment you started talking to him, you’d like him,” Henderson said. “He’d make you smile or laugh. He was charismatic. He was bubbly. He had that upbeat personality.”
Glover spend his mornings delivering food baskets to the elderly, then he spent evening collecting donations from address painting, according to Henderson. He enjoyed his work.
Glover was collecting donations after the organization previously re-painted the addresses on curb-sides on Dinard Avenue when the fatal shooting took place, Henderson said.
“He had just collected a donation. He was walking away from the door, he heard the gunshots being fired,” Henderson said.
Henderson said he did no understand why anyone would have targeted Glover, and wondered if the shooting was a robbery or a case of mistaken identity.
Glover is survived by an adult son, Henderson said.
“He was a great guy,” the employer said.
Funds to help Glover’s family with burial expenses are being collected online at www.gofundme.com/memorial-for-beloved-matthew-glover.
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.

PHOTO of Matthew Glover, courtesy.

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UPDATED: One teen killed, another wounded in Monrovia shooting


MONROVIA >> A Saturday night shooting in Monrovia left one teenager dead and another wounded, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 11:35 p.m. in the 100 block of West Cypress Street, just west of Myrtle Avenue, according to Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
Monrovia police first responded to reports of gunshots when they found the victims, Alexander said in a written statement.
“Both victims had been shot at least one time in the torso,” she said.
Paramedics pronounced one of the young men dead at the scene, officials said.
He was identified as 18-year-old Oscar Andrew Garcia of Monrovia, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
The second gunshot victim, described as 17 years old, was hospitalized in critical condition.
The shooter was described only as a Latino man in his 20s. Sheriff’s officials released no further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting.
Neighbors said the shooting in or just outside the detached garage of a back house, and involved more than 10 gunshots.
A pair of paramedic’s gloved marked the scene of the shooting on Sunday afternoon.
One neighbor, who did not want her identity published for fear of retaliation, said the two victims did not live at the home, but were visiting friends when the gunfire erupted.
The shooter entered the property through a rear fence, which leads to an alley running just south of Cypress Street.
The gunman immediately opened fire before fleeing back through the alley, neighbors said.
Saturday night’s double shooting is the latest in a spate of at least seven shooting in the Monrovia-Duarte area since January that have left four victims dead and another four wounded. Three suspects have been jailed in connection with one of the non-fatal shootings. The rest of the cases remain unsolved.
•Two women escaped injury, though a home and parked car were struck by gunfire, in a drive-by shooting in the 500 block of Maydee Street in unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte on Friday night.
•A La Puente man was found shot to death inside a vacant home in the 2600 block of Calle Martos in Duarte on April 1.
•A man was wounded in a shooting in the 400 block of East Duarte Road in Monrovia on March 29.
•A 20-year-old man died in a shooting in the 400 block of Camino Real Street in the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia on March 18.
•A 39-year-old man was shot to death as he arrived home with his wife and children in the 2300 block of Bashor Street in Duarte on Feb. 18. A $10,000 reward has since been authorized in the case by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
•A man was wounded in a drive-by shooting in the 2000 block of Goodall Avenue in the unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte on Jan. 15.
•Two men suffered gunshot wounds in a shooting at Cresrfield Drive and Bloomdale Street in Duarte on Jan. 7. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.
News of Saturday neight’s shooting brought longtime victims’ advocate Jeanette Chavez to tears.
Chavez lost her 16-year-old daughter, Sammantha Salas, in a shooting in the 2500 block of Peck Road in the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia that took place amid a spate of gang-violence that plagued the area in late-2007. Salas was slain with automatic gunfire as the walked from her father’s home to a nearby store with two friends. One of Salas’ friends was also wounded in the shooting.
Two cousins from Monrovia have since been sentenced to life in prison for the slaying.
Chavez has spent the past decade working with victim’s advocacy organizations, as well as on her own, to try to prevent other families from suffering similar tragedies.
“This is really taking a toll on me, and taking a toll on my heart,” she said of the recent violence. “It’s like a black eye for my daughter.”
Chavez said she addressed law enforcement and county supervisors at a Monrovia, Arcadia Duarte Town Council meeting on Wednesday regarding the issue of violence in the Monrovia-Duarte area. Two more shooting have occurred in the area since the meeting.
Chavez said she asked at the meeting about improving communications between the several law enforcement agencies that patrol the area, as well as how many deputies are assigned to the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia. But she said she did not receive satisfactory answers.
In response to the violence in the area in 2007 and 2008, Monrovia officials sought and obtained a gang injunction against two local street gangs in a 6-square-mile area encompassing portions of Monrovia and nearby unincorporated county areas.
But Duarte declined to join in the injunction, which Chavez said was the wrong decision.
“Shame on Duarte for not joining the gang injunction,” she said.
The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is helping Monrovia police with the investigation into Saturday’s fatal shooting.
Anyone with information us urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to  at 800-222-8477.

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Gang members get life in prison for Christmas Day murder of Pasadena youth coach

PASADENA >> Two gang members will spend the rest of their lives in prison cells for fatally shooting a Pasadena community coach and sheriff’s department employee on Christmas Day, 2012, a judge declared Friday.
At their sentencing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Jerron Donald Harris, 29, of Pasadena and Larry Darnell Bishop, 24, of Chino each received sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Dec. 25, 2012, murder of 49-year-old Victor J. McClinton of Pasadena, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said in a written statement.
McClinton was walking with a friend in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue about a 11 a.m. when he became caught in gang crossfire.
The killers opened fire on a rival gang member, who was wounded in the shooting, according to Pasadena police officials and prosecutors. McClinton, who was struck by an errant bullet from the gang-related attack, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
McClinton was a father of two who worked as a law enforcement technician for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and founded the Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League in Pasadena.
Following a mistrial in 2015, and a 15-day jury deliberation process at the conclusion of their second trial in 2015, a jury convicted Harris and Bishop of first-degree murder, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Ricardo Santiago.
The jury also found true the special circumstances that the killing was gang related and that the shots were fired from a moving vehicle, he said. The jury also found true the allegation that Harris personally used a firearm in the crime, but did not find true the allegation that Bishop also fired a gun in the shooting.
Jurors also convicted Harris of two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling and one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, Risling said.
The special allegations made the defendants eligible for the death penalty, but prosecutors did not seek capital punishment in the case.

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Man found shot to death outside Montebello church identified


MONTEBELLO >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a man found shot to death inside a car in a church parking lot in Montebello two weeks ago.
Ricardo Baltazar Mota, 33, died in the shooting, which was reported about 8:30 p.m. on March 27 in the 800 block of North Garfield Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Kelly Yagerliner said. His city of residence was unknown.
Reports of gunfire first led deputies to discover Mota mortally wounded inside a car, which had collided into another parked vehicle in the parking lot of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church, according to Sgt. Marcelo Quintero of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. He had been shot multiple times in the upper body.
It appeared Mota had either been parked in the lot, or just pulled in, when the shooting took place.
The circumstances and motive in the attack remained a mystery, and no suspect description was available.
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.

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Man guilty of double murder in 2012 Pasadena boarding house arson

PASADENA >> A Pasadena man will spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury convicted him Friday of two counts of murder and other charges for torching a Pasadena boarding home in 2012, killing two men and leaving another severely burned.
A Pasadena jury deliberated for less than an hour before declaring Garth Allen Robbins, who turned 54 on Wednesday, guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of arson causing great bodily injury and one count of arson of an inhabited structure in connection with the deadly and intentional Nov. 1, 2012, fire at a three-story illegal boarding home where he was staying at 1385 El Sereno Ave., according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling.
“Evidence presented at trial showed that Robbins started the fire at about 2 a.m., when 17 others were asleep inside the house,” Risling said in a written statement. “He doused his room with gasoline and set it ablaze.”
The jury also found true the special allegations of multiple murders, as well as murder in the commission of the arson of an inhabited building, making him potentially eligible for the death penalty, he said. But the prosecution previously elected not to seek capital punishment in the case.
Robbins is expected to be sentenced to two life terms in prison, without the possibility of parole, when he returned to the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing on June 7.
Pasadena Fire Department Battalion Chief and Deputy Fire Marshal Wendell Easton said the date of the fatal fire was “a tragic day in Pasadena history.”
The motive in the deadly arson was never fully explained. But there was no indication his roommates were specifically targeted.
Robbins stated during the trial process that he’d lit the fire because “he wanted his life to go away,” Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Robbins has been in custody since the day after the fire, more than four years ago.
“After four days of dramatic testimony by victims, firefighters and police officers, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all counts,” Eaton said.
Prosecutors initially filed 15 additional counts of attempted murder against Robbins for the 15 other survivors of the arson attack, but those charges were dismissed by the court prior to trial, Risling said.
Killed in the fire were Cliff Juan Clark and Paul Richard Boyd, who succumbed to smoke inhalation, coroner’s officials said. Another resident of the boarding home, then-65-year-old Perry Simmons, suffered sever injuries in the fire, but survived.
The owner of the boarding home has since pleaded guilty to violating a 2007 city ordinance barring boarding homes and group homes of more than six residents in most parts of the city.
Jeannette Broussard was initially charged with 136 municipal code violations, but ultimately agreed to plead guilty to 23 violations. She was received three years of probation, $6,200 in fines and penalties and victim restitution.
Eaton commended the many police and fire investigators who handled the complex case.
“Thank you to everyone involved, from the day of the fire to the successful prosecution of this case,” he said. “This incident highlights the unique and successful relationship between the Pasadena Police Department and the Pasadena Fire Department in the investigation of arson related offenses.”

PHOTO: Garth Allen Robbins, 54, was convicted of two counts of murder and two counts of arson on Friday, April 7, 2017, for a Nov. 1, 2012, arson fire at a Pasadena boarding home that left two men dead and another badly burned. Robbins is pictured during his preliminary hearing Tuesday, June 18, 2013, in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.(SGVN/Staff File Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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