UPDATED: La Puente man found shot to death inside vacant home in Duarte

DUARTE >> Officials have identified a La Puente man who was found shot to death inside a vacant home in Duarte on Saturday afternoon.
Christian Sanchez, 20, was pronounced dead shortly after 4:20 p.m., when he was found shot inside an empty house in the 2600 block of Calle Martos, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
The deadly shooting was first reported as a possible burglary at the home in the 2600 block of Calle Martos, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“Upon (deputies’) arrival, they discovered a male Hispanic adult inside the vacant residence, suffering from at least one gunshot wound,” he said.
Paramedics pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
“There is no suspect information at this time,” Rouzan said. The motive in the slaying was unclear.
Anyone with information is asked 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.

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Suspect jailed in fatal shooting of 8-year-old Pomona boy

POMONA >> Police have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of 8-year-old Jonah Hwang in Pomona last month.
Following more than a month of investigation in the wake of the Feb. 20 shooting at a home in the 1100 block of West 11th Street, police announced the arrest of Sengchan Houl, 35, in connection with Hwang’s slaying.
The drive-by attack took place as Hwang and his family were dinner guests at the home of another family, according to Pomona police Lt. Eddie Vasquez.
“The Pomona Police Department’s Homicide Unit has been actively investigating Jonah’s murder since that day’s events,” police said in a written statement issued late Sunday. “Today, the Police Department is announcing the arrest of a suspect in this case.”
Officers took Houl into custody without a struggle in an unincorporated county area near Pomona shortly after 11:490 a.m., according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
A motive in the deadly shooting has not been disclosed.
No further details regarding the arrest were released Sunday.
“Detectives are still actively working this case and we are not releasing any additional information at this time,” according to the police statement.
Gunshots struck the same home in January, resulting in no injuries, and again on Saturday morning, police said.
Police planned to hold a conference Monday afternoon to provide additional details on the investigation.
According to county booking records, Houl was being held in lieu of $2 million bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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Police release suspect sketch in Pasadena double-fatal shooting targeting previous victim’s vigil

PASADENA >> Police released a composite sketch of one of four men sought in connection with a January shooting that left two men dead and two other victims wounded during a vigil for a previous homicide victim in Pasadena.
Antoine Dewayne Sutphen Jr. and Ormani Dajan Duncan, both 24 and from Pasadena, died in the barrage of gunfire that erupted just before midnight on Jan. 6 at Fair Oaks Avenue and Claremont Street, according to Pasadena police and Los Angeles County coroner’s officials.
The victims had gathered for a vigil in memory of 25-year-old Brandon Douglas of Pasadena, who was gunned down on the same corner on Dec. 22.
The shooting involved four attackers, according to Pasadena police Lt. Jesse Carrillo. Investigators received conflicting reports of whether the men fired from inside a passing vehicle or exited their car before opening fire.
Police released descriptions of the suspect earlier this week in hopes of generating tips from the public, the lieutenant said. The plan worked.
“Since our most recent request for assistance, witnesses have come forward and provided further information, resulting in a composite sketch of one suspect,” Carrillo said.
Witnesses have described the killers as four black men. One was 20 to 25 years old, of dark complexion, 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall, between 210 and 220 pounds, police said.
The other three suspects were all described as 25 to 30 years old. One was 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall and 240 to 250 pounds and of dark complexion. The third was 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 210 to 220 pounds and of medium complexion. The final suspect was 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet 1 inch tall, 180 to 190 pounds and of light complexion.
No description of the attackers’ car was available.
Investigators hoped more witnesses are yet to come forward with vital information that may help them solve the double-slaying, Carrillo said.
In addition to the two Pasadena man who lost their lives in the Jan. 6 shooting, a 24-year-old woman was critically injured and a 25-year-old man suffered non-life-threatening wounds.
The bloodshed continued the following afternoon, when another shooting erupted at the same street corner, police said. A 25-year-old man was shot in the thigh.
Investigators have said it appears the shooting, as well as others in the region since, are the result of an escalating rivalry between gangs in the Pasadena, Monrovia, Duarte and Pomona areas.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police homicide detectives at 626-744-4511. The department can be reached 24 hours a day at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

SKETCH courtesy of the Pasadena Police Department/Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. PHOTO: Outside Kings Villages in Pasadena a candle is lit on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 by friends of Ormoni Duncan who was fatally shot along with Antoine Sutphen, Jr., in a shooting that also left two other victims wounded on Friday night. The victims were headed to a vigil for Brandon Douglas who was killed on Dec. 22, 2016. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

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UPDATED: Duarte man killed in Saturday night shooting

A young father died following a suspected gang-related shooting in an unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia late Saturday, authorities said.
Ray Chinchilla, 20, of Duarte died in the shooting, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
The fatal attack took place just after 9 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 400 block of East Camino Real Street, just east of California Avenue, according to Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Information Bureau.
Officers responded to a report that a person had been shot when they encountered the victim, who had been shot in the “upper torso,” Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez said in a written statement.
Paramedics pronounced Chinchilla dead at the scene.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was walking north on Flagstone Avenue with another male and female, both Hispanics, when they were confronted on foot by two male Black adult suspects as they reached East Camino Real,” Navarro-Suarez said. “At least one of the suspects shot at the victims before fleeing the scene in a gray Honda.”
Two additional victims ran away and called 911, she said. They were not hurt.
No further description of the attackers and their car was available.
“The incident appears to be gang-related,” according to Navarro-Suarez.
No further details were available.
Friends and neighbors stopped by the site of the fatal shooting to leave flower and light candles in memory of Chinchilla. A Detroit Tigers baseball cap, a cross, a teddy bear and cans of Budweiser and Four Loco Gold also adorned the site.
Chinchilla lived nearby and leaves behind a young son, acquaintance Juan Banuelos, 17, said.
Others described Chinchilla as a kind and considerate man.
A woman passing by stopped at the memorial site to ask what had happened.
The news that a young man had been killed in a shooting brought her to tears. She explained that her son had been shot to death in the same neighborhood nine years ago.
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.
Saturday night’s deadly shooting was the second gun homicide in the area in a month, and the fourth shooting in the area in just over two months.
A 39-year-old Duarte man was gunned down in front of his wife and children as the family arrived home in the 2300 block of Bashor Street about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, Feb. 18, exactly one month before Chinchilla’s fatal shooting.
Kirinda Lavar Morehead died at the scene of the shooting. No arrest have been made, and a $10,000 reward has been offered in connection with the case.
A 51-year-old man suffered numerous gunshot wounds to his legs, but survived, in a drive-by attack about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 in the 2000 block of Goodall Avenue, less than a mile from the scene of Chinchilla’s slaying on Saturday.
And two men were wounded in a Jan. 7 shooting at Crestfield Drive and Bloomsdale Street in Duarte. Investigators subsequently arrested three Pasadena men in connection with the shooting.
In Pasadena, bullets fired on Jan. 6 into a group of mourners gathered at Fair Oaks Avenue and Claremont Street at a vigil for a previous homicide victim claimed the lives of Antoine Dewayne Sutphen Jr. and Ormani Dajan Duncan, both 24 and from Pasadena, and left two other victims wounded.
The double-fatal drive-by shooting took place as a group of loved ones had gathered to remember 25-year-old Brandon Douglas of Pasadena, who was shot to death on the same spot on Dec. 22.
Investigators suspect gang violence is at the root of much of the violence. A spate of shooting in the Duarte, Pasadena and Pomona areas are believed to the result of an escalating feed between rival gangs.

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Pasadena man and woman acquitted of murder charges in 1997 Altadena shooting case

PASADENA >> A man and woman accused of murder in connection with the fatal 1997 shooting of an 18-year-old man in Altadena are free after being acquitted by a jury on Tuesday, authorities said.
A Burbank Superior Court jury deliberated for six days before finding Darryl Johnson, also known as Darryl Lamont Callum, 42, of Pasadena and Dominique Raquel Evans, 44, of Pasadena not guilty of the murder of Johnis Jackson of Altadena at Fair Oaks Avenue and Harriet Street, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials and Superior Court records.
The two defendants, who were dating at the time of the killing, were arrested in May of 2013, more than a decade after the case had grown cold.
The current relationship between the acquitted defendants was not clear, though investigators have said they have children together.
Sheriff’s detectives and prosecutors alleged that Johnson was a member of the Bloods gang at the time of the deadly, Detective Michael Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau Cold Case Unit said shortly after the arrests.
Johnson and Evans had been at a party at Loma Alta Park in Altadena when an argument broke out between one of Johnson’s gang affiliates and Evans, the detective said. Evans accused the other man of stealing CDS, and the man slapped her.
Evans was heard making threats and left the park, accompanied by several other women.
Less than half-an-hour later, Jackson, who had tried to calm down the situation and offered to buy Evans new CDs, was gunned down as he walked to his car. He was described by authorities as a member of the Crips gang.
Rodriguez said investigators long suspect the defendants were involved, but did develop sufficient evidence to support arrests and charges until new leads were developed in 2013, Rodriguez said. Deputies obtained arrest warrants for Johnson and Evans on May 21, 2013, during separate traffic stops in Pasadena.
Following their acquittals, Johnson and Evans were released from custody Tuesday afternoon, records show.

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Altadena man recaptured after mistaken jail release sentenced for 2011 Pasadena murder

PASADENA >> A man who fatally shot another man in Pasadena in 2011, and then was mistakenly released from jail while awaiting trial before being recaptured in Nevada, received a sentence of more than seven decades in prison this week, officials said.
Steven Lawrence Wright, 38, began serving his 75-year-to-life state prison term Monday following his sentencing in the Burbank Branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago.
A jury convicted him in November of murder for the Jan 19, 2011, fatal shooting of Donnell Taylor of Pasadena in the 1700 block of Summit Avenue. He was also convicted of attempted murder in December of 2015 for another attack that took place on March 15, 2011, according to court records.
Co-defendant Vernon Fisher, 44, of Altadena, pleaded “no contest” in November to a manslaughter charge for Taylor’s slaying, court records show. He was subsequently sentenced to 82 years to life in state prison.
Police alleged both Wright and Fisher were members of the Altadena Blocc Crips, though Taylor was not believed to be a gang member.
Officials at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office did not return requests for information on the case.
As Wright was awaiting trial for Taylor’s murder when he was mistakenly set free on Jan. 30, 2016, due to a paperwork error, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and court officials.
After refusing to cooperate as a witness in another trial, a judge held Wright in contempt and sent him to jail for five days.
But paperwork submitted by the court indicated Wright was to be released outright once he’d served his time for contempt of court, sheriff’s Commander Keith Swensson said at the time. Sheriff’s officials failed to catch the error and released Wright from custody, despite the pending murder case.
He remained a fugitive for nine days until he was found and recaptured at a motel in Boulder City, Nevada, on Feb. 8, 2016.
Wright’s case was unusual, but not entirely unique.
Another killer was also mistakenly released from Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles, administered by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department just over three years earlier.
Johnny Mata of El Monte was awaiting trial for the murder for the Christmas Eve 2010 fatal shooting of David Anthony Deanda, 34, of Baldwin Park, on Christmas Eve, 2010, as well as a second nonfatal shooting in Baldwin Park 2012, when he was mistakenly released from custody.
Mata was recaptured a little over a year later in Mexico. He has since been sentenced to life, plus 111 years, in state prison.

PHOTO: Steven L. Wright (Courtesy)

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San Gabriel man pleads not guilty in slaying of El Monte fast-food worker

EL MONTE >> A San Gabriel man accused of gunning down a fast-food worker during a botched robbery in El Monte last year denied a capital murder charge on Wednesday, authorities said.
Louie Francisco Herrera, 20, pleaded not guilty in connection with the Oct. 21 shooting at a Jack in the Box restaurant at 9220 Flair Drive that claimed the life of 25-year-old Juan Manuel Vidal of El Monte. Vidal was engaged to be married to his longtime girlfriend, had just graduated pharmacy technician school and was looking forward to starting his new career, according to family members and investigators.
Prosecutors allege the special circumstance that Herrera committed murder during an attempted robbery, as well as the special allegation that her personally used a handgun in the crime, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
The special allegation makes Herrera potentially eligible for the death penalty if convicted, however, prosecutors have yet to determine whether the death penalty will be sought in the case, according to Ardalani. If capital punishment is not pursued, Herrera could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
After entering his not guilty plea, Herrera was ordered back to the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 17 for a hearing in the case.
Vidal was working at the cash register when a masked man entered the restaurant holding a handgun, demanded money, and immediately fired shot, which mortally wounded Vidal. The gunman then fled empty-handed.
The violent robbery attempt was captured on video by store surveillance cameras.
•Video: Surveillance camera footage of deadly El Monte Jack in the Box robbery
The case remained unsolved for more than three months, as authorities from El Monte, the County of Los Angeles and Jack in the Box established a reward fund totaling $55,000 in the case.
Tips from the public helped officials identify Herrera as a suspect in the deadly shooting, investigators said. Sheriff’s deputies found him riding as a passenger in a car in Alhambra on Jan. 9 and arrested him without a struggle, according to Detective Adan Torres of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau.
Herrera also faces robbery charges in connection with other heists that took place on Oct. 2, 5, 15 and 19 in Irwindale, San Gabriel, Alhambra and Monterey Park, according to sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials.

PHOTOS: [TOP] Photo of murder suspect Louis Francisco Herrera displayed on a poster during a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department press conference on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. (Leo Jarzomb) [MIDDLE] Photo of homicide victim Juan Manuel Vidal, 25, of El Monte. (Courtesy) [BELOW] Photograph of crime scene taken one day after the slaying. (Brian Day)

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$30K reward offered in ‘brutal’ slaying of retired Diamond Bar couple

DIAMOND BAR >> Authorities offered $30,000 in reward money Wednesday for information in the mysterious and brutal stabbing deaths of a retired couple last October during an apparent robbery at their Diamond Bar home.
Chen “David” Long Wang, 60, and Mei “Marian” Chu Chung, 57, were discovered stabbed to death on the morning of Oct. 20 at their house in the 3300 block of Bent Twig Lane.
The slaying was believed to have taken place the previous night, investigators said. The bodies were discovered when a family friend went to check on the couple after they had not been heard from for a while.
“They were savagely attacked. It as a very brutal, violent altercation,” Capt. Steve Katz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau said.
And while the motive in the attack was unknown in the initial stages of the investigation, detectives now believe the killings took place during the course of a robbery, the captain said.
Between $10,000 and $15,000 in cash that was hidden inside the victims’ home was believed to have been stolen, according to Katz. The money was hidden in such a way that it appeared the killer or killers may have known where to look for it, and detectives were looking into the possibility the attacker or attackers may have had prior knowledge that the cash was there.
Authorities and the victims’ family reached out to the public on Wednesday to call on anyone with information to come forward and offer a $30,000 incentive to do so.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn announced that the Board of Supervisors approved a $20,000 reward she had requested for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Diamond Bar city officials increased the reward, adding another $10,000, officials said.
In addition to imploring any potential witnesses to come forward, Hahn offered a warning to the perpetrator or perpetrators: “We will ultimately find you. We will bring you to justice.”
Wang and Chung were well-known and well-liked in the community and their senseless slaying shocked the community, according to Hahn and Sheriff Jim McDonnell said.
McDonnell described them as “A classic example of an American success story.”
They’d lived in Diamond Bar for 16 years after immigrating to the U.S. from Taiwan in 2000, the sheriff said. They had since endeared themselves to their neighbors through their passions for art and community service.
Wang was a retired computer programmer and Chung was a retired teacher and art instructor.
The couple ran an art studio out of their home, teaching painting and other arts to local children.
They are survived by a son and a daughter, who are both doctors, as well as grandchildren.
Their son, Dr. Gary Wang, shared memories of his parents and encouraged anyone with information to do the right thing.
“My parents were educators. They touched the lives of many children and their parents by creating something beautiful,” he said. “They were taken away from my life so suddenly and so brutally by burglars. They don’t deserve a death like this. “
“I’m, imploring you, please, if you hear something or know something, please come to the police station,” Gary Wang said. “I’m not asking much. I’m just asking for some justice for my parents.”+
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.

PHOTOS: [ABOVE] Right to left: LASD Homicide Bureau Capt. Steve Katz, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Dr. Gary Wang, L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and LASD Walnut Station Capt. Alfred Reyes gather to announce a $30,000 reward for information in connection with the Oct. 19, 2016, stabbing deaths of a retired couple in their Diamond Bar home. (staff) [BELOW]  Chen “David” Long Wang, 60, and Mei “Marian” Chu Chung, 57. (courtesy)

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Man shot to death in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A man died after being shot in a residential neighborhood in Pasadena on Saturday night, authorities said.
Witnesses called police about 9:50 p.m. to report hearing gunshots in the 100 block of West Montana Street, Pasadena police said in a written statement.
Responding officers found the victim, a man in his 40s, lying in the street, wounded by gunfire, Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“Pasadena Fire Department paramedics arrived and transported the victim to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries,” according to the statement.
The victim’s name was not available Sunday pending notification of his family, officials said.
No further details, including a suspect description, were available.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Alhambra victims’ advocate honored as ‘Woman of the Year’

SACRAMENTO >> An Alhambra woman who had dedicated the past nine years of her life to helping families of homicide victims was honored by a California lawmaker as 2017 “Woman of the Year” this week as part of the Women’s History Month observance.
California Rep. Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park, selected Ernestina “Tina” Yamashiro to receive the honor at a ceremony held Monday in Sacramento.
Yamashiro’s life was forever changed when her niece, 16-year-old Sammantha Salas, was gunned down in an unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte while walking to a the store on Jan. 26, 2008.
Since then, she had worked tirelessly on behalf of homicide victims and their families, founding the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the victim advocacy group Survivors of Murdered Children.
“I am recognizing Ernestina, because of her unwavering commitment to serving grieving families during some of the most difficult times of their lives, which is the loss of a loved one,” Chau said in a written statement.
“She is truly a role model and pillar in the community that has turned a very difficult and personal experience into a lifelong mission to transform the lives of others, in an empowering way, by making sure that families of homicide victims are aware of the resources available to them, and by promoting peace and educational activities that attempt to end violence. She is, without a doubt, deserving of this recognition and much more.”

PHOTO: Victims’ rights advocate Ernestina “Tina” Yamashiro, center, was honored as 2017 “Woman of the Year” by California Rep. Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park, at a ceremony in Sacramento on Monday, March 6, 2017. (Courtesy)

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