Victim of Pasadena shooting rampage identified

PASADENA — Coroner’s officials Sunday released the name of one of three people killed in a mass shooting on a residential Pasadena street that also left two others wounded.
Maria Teresa Aguiar, 59, died along with two men at the scene of Saturday’s deadly rampage in the 1700 block of North Summit Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
Her city of residence was not yet listed at the coroner’s office Sunday morning, however public records indicated Aguiar lived on the street where the shooting took place. A phone number listed as belonging to Aguiar was not working.
The identities of the two men killed in the attack have not been released.
A man and woman were also shot by suspect John Izeal Smith of Pasadena, who eventually surrendered to police after firing on an officer with a semi-automatic rifle and engaging in a brief stand-off, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said.
“We’re talking upwards of 40 rounds that were fired,” the chief said. Police did not return fire.

…FULL STORY

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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.

…FULL STORY

Photo by James Carbone

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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. Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives began seeking Fimbres after identifying early in the investigation as a suspect in Taylor’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.
Taylor was walking along Maple Street when an attacker, later identified as Fimbres, approached in small pickup truck, Lt. Andy Vuncanon said.
Fimbres exited the truck, approached Taylor, pulled a handgun and shot the victim once in the chest, the lieutenant said.

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Man fatally shot in Montebello

The Los Angeles County Coroner has identified a man fatally shot Tuesday in Montebello, coroner officials said.
Frank Burnell Taylor, 35, was shot once in the chest in the 500 block of Maple Street, Los Angeles Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said. He died at the scene.
Winter did not have a residence for Taylor.
Montebello Police officers found Taylor laying in the street around 7:15 p.m., officials said.
“Upon investigation it appeared that the victim was a pedestrian walking in the area,” Lt. Andy Vuncanon said.
Vuncanon said a suspect pulled up near the man and exited his vehicle.
“(He) approached the victim and produced a handgun and fired a shot at the victim which struck him in the chest,” Vuncanon said. “The suspect walked back to his car, got in, fled, and is outstanding.”
Police have not determined if both the victim and suspect were alone during the shooting, Vuncanon said. A motive has not been determined.
The suspect is described as a Latino male in his late 20s, 6-feet, 180 pounds, clean shaven with short black hair, and wearing a white T-shirt.
He was seen driving a silver small-sized pickup truck. The model is unknown.
Witnesses are asked to call Montebello Police investigators at 323-887-1248.

- Venusse Navid

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Gang member sentenced for shotgun slaying of Covina man

0628_NWS_SGT-L-NAVARETTEA judge sentenced a gang member to 80 years to life in prison this week for the shotgun slaying of a Covina man in October of 2012.
Fred Navarette, 31, of Covina was on a mission to gun down rival gang members when he came upon a group of five people gathered on a sidewalk in the 300 block of North Vecino Avenue in Covina about 3:30 a.m. on October 28, 2012, according to investigators and prosecutors.
Navarette was armed with a shotgun and driving a pickup truck he had stolen earlier in the day, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Robert Serna said.
“He went into a known gang area with the shotgun and the stolen truck, pulled up to a group of people on the sidewalk, racked the shotgun, yelled out, ‘West Covina,’ and fired one shot at the group,” Serna said.
The shotgun blast fatally wounded Thomas Fernandez, the 23-year-old father of a then-22-month-old son who lived nearby, officials said. Fernandez ran into the carport area of an apartment complex a block to the south where he collapsed and died. No one else in the group was wounded.
Navarette received a term of 80 years to life in state prison Wednesday in the courtroom of Pomona Superior Court Judge Bruce Marrs, officials said.
A jury convicted him earlier this month of murder, along with the special allegations that the killing was gang-related and that Navarette personally used a firearm in the slaying, Serna said. He was also convicted of auto theft, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a short-barrelled shotgun.
The conviction comes as Navarette’s second strike, as he has a prior conviction for assault with intent to cause great bodily injury, also with the special allegation that the crime was gang-related, Serna said.
Covina police arrested Navarette two days after the fatal shooting, Marquez said.
He was first charged only with auto theft as detectives continues gathering evidence, police said. Prosecutors charged Navaratte with Fernandez’s murder in March of 2013,
A passenger who was in the pickup truck with Navarette at the time of the shooting testified against him, and Navarette’s DNA was found on the shotgun used in the shooting, as well as the driver-side of the pickup truck used in the killing, Serna said.
Officials described Navarette as member of the West Covina 13 street gang.
During his trial, he grew hair over tattoos on his head, including a set of horns, Serna said.
Authorities described Fernandez and as an affiliate of the El Monte Flores gang.
His girlfriend, Jessica Martinez, said at the time of the shooting that although Fernandez had associated with the gang in the past and had friends who were involved with it, Fernandez was not a gang member.
Martinez described Fernandez as a good father and a kind man who loved music and dreamed of becoming a rapper.
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PHOTOS:
TOP: Fred Navarette, 31, of Covina, was sentenced to 80 years to life in prison Wednesday, June 25, 2014, for the Oct. 28, 2012, shotgun slaying of Thomas Fernandez, 23, of Covina, in the 300 block of North Vecino Avenue in Covina. (Courtesy of the Covina Police Department)
BELOW: Mourners gather at the scene where 23-year-old Thomas Fernandez of Covina died after being wounded in a shooting on October 28, 2012. Fred Navarette, 31, of Covina, has since been convicted of murder and other crimes in connection with the killing and sentenced to 80 years to life in prison.
(Staff photo by Brian Day)

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UPDATED: Man fatally stabbed outside South Whittier market

SOUTH WHITTIER — A 29-year-old man died following a stabbing outside a meat market in the unincorporated county area of South Whittier late Friday, authorities said.
Israel Lopez of Whittier died at UCI Medical Center at 7:56 p.m. according to Orange County coroner’s officials.
The fatal stabbing took place shortly after 7 p.m. in front of a meat market in the 11800 block of Carmenita Road, just south of Meyer Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“Detectives have learned deputies from the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station responded to the location regarding an assault with a deadly weapon call. Upon their arrival, they found the victim lying on the curb suffering from stab wounds,” deputies from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement.
Lopez taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, according to Deputy Guillermina Saldana.
No information regarding a suspect was available, and no further details were released.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man sentenced for Monterey Park double-slaying

A judge sentenced a man to spend the rest of his life in prison Thursday for the fatal shooting of his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in Monterey Park in early 2010, authorities said.
Richard Tauch, 49, of Corona received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in Pasadena Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
A jury convicted him in November of two counts of first-degree murder for the Jan. 19, 2010, shooting deaths of Jenny Sor, 40, of Los Angeles and Wenwa Chao, 53, of Alhambra. The jury also found true the special allegations of multiple murder and lying in wait.
Officials described Tauch as a casino security guard who was obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, Sor.
“Tauch and Sor were in a relationship for a year before she broke up with him in December 2009 and started dating Chao,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
On the day of the killings, Tauch went to Sor’s workplace at the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood and hid himself in her car, investigators said. He remained concealed in her car as she drove to an assisted living facility in the 200 block of Northj Chandler Avenue in Monterey Park, where Chao was visiting his father.
“When Sor arrived at the care home, she went inside and Tauch followed,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “The defendant then accosted Sor and Chao and shot them multiple times. The victims died at the scene.”
Tauch fled the scene following the double-slaying, but detectives arrested him the following day.

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West Covina man guilty of murder in wife’s slaying

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A West Covina man is guilty of fatally beating and stabbing his wife before leaving her body in the trunk of her car in the parking lot of the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, a jury found Wednesday.
Tomas Infante, 62, killed his wife 57-year-old Charito Tolentino of West Covina Jan. 11, 2013, after a woman with whom he had been having an affair on his wife with learned he was married, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
The Pomona Superior Court jury deliberated for about two hours before convicting Infante of first-degree murder, district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
“During the trial, the defendant’s son testified that his father that his father told him he had killed his stepmother,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Additionally, surveillance video at the casino, cell phone records and blood evidence at the home linked Infante to the crime.”
Prosecutors said Infante killed his wife the day after the woman he had been seeing learned he was already married and broke up with him.
“A day after the breakup, Tolentino went missing,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
Infante reported his wife missing Jan. 12, telling authorities she had never returned home from work, according to Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Worried family members began searching for Tolentino, and with help from her cell phone provider, was able to find her SUV in the parking lot of the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, the lieutenant said. The family notified sheriff’s deputies, who then found Tolentino’s body in the trunk of her vehicle.
An autopsy determined Tolentino had suffered three stab wounds to her neck and chest area, five lacerations on her head and multiple bruises on her head, face, hands and right forearm, face and he
Detectives arrested Infante Jan. 14, after carrying out a search of the West Covina home he shared with his wife and their 17-year-old daughter.
Investigators found blood inside the attached garage of the home, amid other evidence, Ardalani said.
Infante faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison when he returns to Pomona Superior Court to be sentenced by Judge Mike Camacho July 8.

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Man fatally shot while driving in Montebello identified

Coroner’s officials have released the name of a Perris man who was shot to death while driving through Montebello last week.
Justin Scott Verano, 38, died at the scene of Wednesday’s 4:40 p.m. shooting on Sycamore Street, near Montebello Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
He was driving west on Sycamore Street when he was shot by an unknown assailant near Cedar Street, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
His car continued for about three blocks before crashing into a stop sign and a utility pole at Spruce Street, where it came to rest, the Hernandez said.
An autopsy determined Verano died from a gunshot wound to the head, and the death was ruled a homicide, Corral said.
A second vehicle was seen in the area at the time of the shooting, however detectives were looking into whether it was related to the shooting. A description of the vehicle was not available.
Anyone with information was 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.

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Man fatally shot while driving car in Montebello

MBSHOOT

MONTEBELLO >> A man died Wednesday afternoon after he was shot while driving a car in Montebello, authorities said.
The fatal shooting took place just after 4:40 p.m. on Sycamore Street at Spruce Street, Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said.
The victim was initially described as a man in his mid 20s, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The shooting victim was believed to have been wounded near Sycamore Street and Cedar Street before crashing his car into a utility pole several blocks to the west at Sycamore Street and Spruce Street.
“Neighbors heard two or three gunshots in the area of Sycamore and Cedar,” Hernandez said. “After hearing the gunshots they saw the victim’s vehicle, a red sedan, driving west on Sycamore Street somewhat eratically.”
The four-door sedan struck a stop sign at Spruce Street before coming to rest against a utility pole, Hernandez said. The victim appeared to have suffered both gunshot wounds and injuries from the crash.
The driver was the only person inside the car when police arrived, Hernandez said.
The motive in the slaying remained under investigation, officials said.
A second vehicle was seen in the area at the time of the shooting, however a description was not available and detectives were still looking into whether it was involved, Hernandez said.
Anyone with information was asked to call 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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