EL MONTE >> Coroner’s officials Saturday identified a 61-year-old man found dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting and critically wounding another man in a neighborhood dispute.
Thanh Cao was pronounced dead shortly after 1:30 p.m. Friday after a SWAT team stormed into his home in the 11400 block of Elmcrest Street in El Monte, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
An autopsy was pending to determine an officials cause of death, Police found Cao fatally shot in a room he was believed to have been in by himself, El Monte police Lt. Chris Williams said.
Officials said Cao shot a neighbor — described as a man in his 50s — multiple times about 7:30 a.m. Friday. Further information regarding the nature of the dispute that led to the shooting was not available.
The first police at the scene scooped up the wounded man, placed him in a police car and rushed him down the street to waiting paramedics, Williams said. He was hospitalized at a trauma center in critical condition.
Acting on witness reports that the shooter — later identified as Cao — had gone into a home, police ordered anyone inside to come out, Williams said. Two people emerged and told police that Cao had gone into a bedroom just before they heard a single gunshot.
A SWAT team surrounded Cao’s home and spent five hours trying to communicate with him before ultimately forcing their way in, William said. They then discovered Cao, fatally wounded.
A search of public records indicates Cao has lived in the home for 12 years, and in the neighborhood for more than 20 years.
Mourning family members gathered at the scene Friday declined to comment.
PICO RIVERA >> Deputies sought a group of attackers in a small SUV who shot and wounded another man in a residential neighborhood late Friday.
A 20-year-old suffered a single gunshot wound to his back in the 8 p.m. shooting at Calico Avenue and Ibsen Street, near the Pio Pico Elementary School and Playground, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Meyer said.
He was approached by four male attackers in an older-model, brown or gold, small SUV, similar to a GMC Jimmy, the lieutenant said.
The occupants of the SUV yelled out “Pico Nuevo,” the name of a local street gang — before opening fire with a small-caliber handgun, officials said. The SUV had chrome rims and a black roof rack. It was last seen eastbound on Ibsen Street.
The wounded man was conscious and speaking when taken to a hospital for treatment, Meyer said. An update on his condition was not available.
The shooting was being investigated by deputies from the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station.
EL MONTE >> A SWAT team stormed an El Monte home Friday afternoon where a shooting suspect was holed-up and discovered him dead of a gunshot wound.
El Monte Police stopped short of calling the death a suicide, but said the suspect, described as a man in his 50s, was believed to be alone in a room when shot. No additional suspects were being sought.
The suspect allegedly shot another man at 7:27 a.m. in the 11400 block of Elmcrest Street.
The victim, also a man in his 50s, was hospitalized at a trauma center in critical condition, according to El Monte Police Lt. Chris Williams.
Police provided no details of what prompted the shooting but had described the confrontation as a neighborhood dispute.
Williams said the incident began with a report of “shots fired” and a “person hit”.
“Initial information was that a subject was shot, and a suspect was seen going into a neighboring house,” he said.
Officers found a man at the scene suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, Williams said. It was not clear how many times the man had been shot.
Officers placed the wounded man into a police car and rushed him down the street to paramedics, who were standing by near the crime scene as police searched for the shooter.
Police ordered anyone inside the home where the suspect was seen entering to come out, Williams said.
Two people exited, but neither was the suspect.
“One person told officers they heard a single gunshot in the room where the suspect was,” Williams said.
The relationship between the witnesses and the suspect was not immediately available.
Believing the armed shooting suspect may be barricaded inside the home, police summoned a SWAT team to the scene.
Six homes in the area were evacuated and Frank Wright School at 11317 McGirk Ave. was placed on lockdown as a precaution, officials said.
For five hours, officials tried unsuccessfully to speak with the suspect, including tossing a telephone into the home shortly after noon.
“After all attempts at communication failed, (SWAT) officers entered the residence a little after 1:30 p.m.,” Williams said. They then discovered the suspect fatally shot.
Family members of the dead man gathered at the scene but declined to comment.
Neighbor Daniel Chou, 29, said he did not hear the shooting and first learned something was going on when police swarmed the neighborhood.
At 9 a.m., Chou said police told him to stay in his home. A half-hour later, they returned and told him it was time to evacuate.
The school lockdown was lifted shortly before 2 p.m., and evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes just after 2 p.m. as police continued investigating the shooting scene.
MONROVIA — Two apparent gang members stabbed and wounded a young man after he exited a bus Thursday afternoon, police said.
The victim, a 19-year-old black man, got off a bus at Foothill Boulevard and Magnolia Street about 6:25 p.m., Monrovia police Sgt. Glen Coleman said.
He was approached my two men who seemingly mistook the victim for a gang member, the sergeant said.
One of the assailants shouted “(expletive) Duroc” as he stabbed the victim in the chest, Coleman said. The stab wound was not considered to be life-threatening.
“Duroc” refers to the Duroc Crips street gang, which populates the Duarte and Monrovia area.
But the wounded man did not appear to be associated with the gang, Coleman said.
The attackers were described only as Latino men of about the same age as the victim. They were last seen running from the scene of the stabbing.
PASADENA — Police are seeking a man who antagonized a man with racial and gang slurs before slashing him in the face late Saturday, officials said.
The attack took place about 11:53 a.m. along Montana Street near Raymond Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
A 28-year-old North Hollywood man was accompanied by his girlfriend and retrieving items from a parked car when he was approached by another man described only as a black, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds, the lieutenant said.
The attacker tried to antagonize the victim, shouting “gang slurs” and “racial slurs,” at the victim, who was white, Clawson said.
“He pulled out some type of weapon and swung, and cut the victim above his eye,” he said.
The injured man declined to be taken to a hospital by paramedics. It was not immediately clear if the case was to be investigated as a hate crime.
EAST VALINDA — Deputies are seeking a gunman who shot and wounded two other men in a residential neighborhood Wednesday evening, officials said.
The shooting was reported about 8:15 p.m. in the 400 block of Lockmere Avenue in the unincorporated county area of East Valinda, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Raymond Enriquez said.
Three men in their 20s were walking along the street when a they were approached by a Latino man in his 20s with a shaved head driving a what was initially described as a Nissan Altima, the lieutenant said. Deputies received conflicting statements regarding the color of the car.
The attacker asked the group where they were from — a common gang challenge, officials said.
The victims, who are not believed to have gang ties, gave no response. But the gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun.
One of the men was shot three times in the back and twice in the arm, Enriquez said. He was listed in stable condition after undergoing surgery.
A second victim was struck twice in the leg and has since been treated and released from the hospital, while the third victim in the group was not struck by the gunfire.
The investigation was being handled by detectives from the sheriff’s Industry Station.
A man and woman from El Monte were behind bars Saturday after leading West Covina police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car during which the driver rammed a police car, authorities said.
Driver and parolee William Paul East, 30, was booked on suspicion of auto theft, driving a stolen car, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and felony evading of police following the pursuit, which began about 11:10 p.m. Friday in West Covina before officers stopped it with a PIT maneuver in El Monte, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
His passenger, 32-year-old Jenny Anne Lao, was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, the lieutenant said.
East was being held without bail and was scheduled to appear in West Covina Superior Court Feb. 20, according to county booking records. He was already being sought for absconding from parole supervision when the chase took place, officials said.
Lao was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail and was scheduled to appear Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
The incident began when a man called police to report seeing his compact Toyota sedan, which had been stolen in El Monte, driving through West Covina, Patton said.
“He happened to come across his vehicle and notified West Covina police,” he said. It was not immediately clear when the car had been stolen.
The caller directed police toward where he had spotted his stolen car, and officers caught up with it in the area of Valinda Avenue and Maplegrove Street, on the western border of West Covina, Patton said.
“Officers proceeded to attempt to stop the vehicle, when the vehicle abruptly fled at a high rate of speed and a pursuit was initiated,” Patton said.
The fleeing car led officers along side streets before getting onto the westbound 10 Freeway, where it reached 105 mph, he said.
As the car exited at Peck Road, East lost control and the Toyota spun out, Patton said. Lao got out of the car and fled on foot, but was quickly apprehended. East continued fleeing in the car.
Police continued chasing the car south on Peck Road until it crashed into a car parked in a used car lot at Peck Road and Valley Boulevard, Patton said.
“After that impact with a parked vehicle at the auto dealership, the driver put the vehicle into reverse and intentionally rammed a police vehicle,” he said. The officer was not injured, and the damage appeared minor.
When East tried to continue driving, officers used a PIT maneuver to bring the chase to an end, according to Patton. East then surrendered.
PASADENA — A taco truck worker is accused of assault with a deadly weapon for striking a fellow employee in the head with a hammer during an argument late Friday, police said.
Raul Villareal, 27, of Los Angeles was jailed in connection with the alleged attack, which took place about 10:05 p.m. at a taco truck parked at Fair Oaks Avenue and Bellevue Drive, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“Two employees of a taco truck got into an argument during their shift that resulted in a fight,” Clawson said. “(Villareal) pulled out a hammer ands struck the other employee in the head.”
The victim suffered what was considered a minor injury, the lieutenant said.
Villareal was still at the scene when police arrived and taken into custody without a struggle, he added.
According to county booking records, Villareal was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail at the Pasadena Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance.
PICO RIVERA — A man suffered was wounded in a shooting outside a funeral home during a Rosary service late Friday but refused to cooperate with investigators regarding the attack, officials said.
The shooting too place about 7:30 p.m. outside Funeraria del Angel – Morrow’s, 9107 East Washington Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Dianna Woodward said.
Mourners were at the funeral home for a service for a person described as an associate of an out-of-town street gang, the sergeant said. She did not know how the person died.
“While inside, they heard approximately 10 to 15 gunshots from outside,” she said.
A 31-year-old man was found suffering from “at least one gunshot wound to his upper torso,” and was taken to a hospital where he was listed in stable condition, Woodward said.
“He refused to give us any information,” she said. Deputies found no witnesses to saw the shooting.
It was believed the shots were fired from a passing vehicle, however no further details were available.
PASADENA — Police searching the home of a man accused of pointing a loaded handgun at a police officer who knocked at his door discovered a cache of 50 guns, including three banned assault weapons, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition and a large amount of marijuana, authorities said.
Stephen Eric Paulsen, 43, of Pasadena was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the initial incident, which took place about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records. Investigators planned to present their findings from the subsequent search warrant to prosecutors for possible additional charges, Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian said.
An officer responded to investigate a report of a dispute or disturbance at an apartment in the 800 block of South Marengo Avenue, the lieutenant said.
“The officer knocked on the door in question and looked through the side window and saw the suspect point a firearm at the officer,” Gourdikian said.
Presumably realizing the person he was pointing an allegedly loaded handgun was a police officer, “The suspect put down the weapon and opened the door,” the lieutenant said. He admitted to pointing the gun at the officer and was immediately arrested.
As police were checking the house for any possible victims, they noticed dozens of boxes and other evidence, “that he was in possession of numerous firearms,” he said.
The initial report of a dispute proved unfounded, Gourdikian added.
Police obtained a search warrant and returned to Paulsen’s home Friday, where they found 50 weapons, Gourdikian said. They included 29 handguns, 16 rifles, including the assault weapons, and five shotguns. Thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosive targets and more than a pound of marijuana were also seized from the home, according to the lieutenant.
Police were continuing to look into the legal status of the weapons with help from agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, he said.
According to county booking records, Paulsen was released from custody Friday pending his initial court appearance after posting $50,000 bail.
The search warrant was served later in the morning, officials added.
No one answered a telephone number listed in public records as Paulsen’s Friday night.
It was not clear why Paulsen allegedly had the arsenal.