Pasadena gang member pleads guilty in police shooting

PASADENA >> A Pasadena gang member accused of shooting at a police officer before being wounded himself and arrested pleaded guilty to three felony charges in connection with the incident, authorities said Wednesday.
Francisco Flores, 23, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of assault on a peace officer with a firearm, discharging a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of methamphetamine while armed with a handgun, with allegations the crimes gang-related, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement. He’s expected to be sentenced to 35 years in prison when he returns to Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing on March 17.
He was a passenger in a car two officers tried to pull over about 9:15 a.m. on April 8, 2016, at Buckeye Street and Los Robles Avenue. The car came to an abrupt stop at Buckeye Street and Adena Avenue, where Flores ran from the vehicle.
An officer followed Flores, according to the police statement. “While running, suspect Flores looked back at (the pursuing officer), pointed a gun at the officer and fired three rounds, fortunately missing.”
The officer returned fire, striking Flores, police said. Flores was treated for his wounds and has since recovered.
Flores was already out on bail pending an illegal gun possession case at the time of the shooting, officials said.

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Man beaten with blunt object in road rage attack outside La Canada Flintridge fire station

LA CANADA >> In a violent incident of road rage, a group of three people followed a man from a Glendale gas station to La Canada Flintridge, where one of them beat the victim with a baseball bat or other blunt object as he tried to seek help at a Foothill Boulevard fire station late Thursday, officials said.
The attack unfolded shortly after 7 p.m. outside Los Angeles County Fire Station 19, 1729 Foothill Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Randy Tuinstra said.
The attackers — described only as two men and a woman in a silver or gray Lexus sedan — became enraged over some type of traffic dispute at or near a gas station in Glendale, the lieutenant said.
They then began following the victim, who ultimately drove to the fire station to seek help.
“As he exited his vehicle and went knocking for help at fire station, a suspect jumped out of car and battered him with a blunt object,” Tuinstra said. The victim was struck in his arm and head. He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The attackers and their car were not found, Tuinstra said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s La Crescenta Station at 818-248-3464. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Man sought after hurling explosive into Old Pasadena Cheesecake factory

  • PASADENA >> No one was hurt when a man threw some type of “homemade pyrotechnic device” into a Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Old Pasadena on Thursday evening, authorities said.
    The attacker remained at large following the incident, which took place just after 6 p.m. at the restaurant at 2 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Art Chute said.
    The restaurant was crowded with diners when a man opened the front doors and tossed in the device, which exploded, the lieutenant said.
    No injuries or significant damage to the building were reported.
    “Officers immediately entered the restaurant and evacuated customers and employees and located a detonated homemade pyrotechnic device,” Pasadena police said in a written statement. “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb squad responded to the scene and rendered the device safe.”
    The device was described as a seemingly homemade pyrotechnic device containing gunpowder, Chute said.
    The man who threw the device was last seen fleeing the area on foot.
    The motive in the bizarre attack remained a mystery.
    “Pasadena police detectives are currently handling the investigation and out of an abundance of caution, the federal authorities have been notified,” according to the statement.
    Police described the man as a Latino or Middle Eastern man, about 6 feet tall, of thin build, with a heavy beard. He wore all black clothing and a black beanie.
    Anyone with information can reach 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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Killer in triple-fatal Pasadena AK-47 rampage sentenced to 181 years behind bars


PASADENA >> A Pasadena man who fatally shot his ex-girlfriend, her father and a neighbor who tried to help, then opened fire on a responding police officer, during a 2014 assault weapon rampage will spend the rest of his life in prison after receiving a sentence of nearly two centuries in state prison on Wednesday, authorities said.
John Izeal Smith, 46, received a sentence of 181 years to life in state prison in the Burbank branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, in connection with the Jan. 12, 2014, triple-murder in the 1700 block of North Summit Avenue, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said.
The sentence was agreed upon under a plea arrangement reached in December, when Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second degree murder, as well as charges of attempted murder and assault with an assault weapon on a police officer.
Killed in the AK-47 shooting spree were Smith’s ex-girlfriend, 59-year-old Maria Aguiar, with whom he still lived; her 91-year-old father Luis Aguiar; and 31-year-old neighbor 31-year-old Jose Hernandez Iribe, according to Los Angeles County coroner and Pasadena police officials.
“Smith got into a domestic altercation with (Aguiar), grabbed an assault rifle and opened fire,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. “Aguiar was killed along with her elderly father.”
Smith then fatally shot Iribe as he rushed toward the gunfire to help Maria Aguiar as she lied wounded in the sidewalk, according to Pasadena police.
Smith then barricaded himself inside the home and called 911 to report the shooting.
He opened fire on the first officer to arrive at the scene, Officer John Woo, who took cover behind his patrol SUV to escape the barrage of gunfire, officials said. Fellow officers used an armored vehicle to rescue Woo from the line of fire.
More than 40 rounds were fired by Smith during the rampage.
Two other people were treated for non-life-threatening injuries following the incident, officials said.
The special circumstance of multiple murders could have made Smith eligible for the death penalty, however prosecutors chose not to seek capital punishment for the crimes.

PHOTO: Johh Izeal Smith, 46, of Pasadena. (file)

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Man pistol-whipped, robbed in front of his Pasadena home

PASADENA >> Two men pistol-whipped and robbed a 61-year-old man as he arrived home in Pasadena late Friday, police said.
The attack unfolded about 7:50 p.m. in the 2000 block of Summit Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
Two robbers made their move as the victim arrived home and parked his car in his driveway, the lieutenant said.
“The suspects approached the vehicle on either side and pointed handguns at him,” he said.
They then opened the driver side of the door, snatching the victims cell phone, as well as an undisclosed amount of cash that was sitting on the passenger seat, according to the lieutenant.
Both robbers struck the man in the head with their handguns before fleeing in a dark-colored car, Goodman said.
The victim suffered cuts to his head but declined medical treatment, he added.
Police described the robbers as two black men between 19 and 21. One was about 6 feet tall and 150 pounds, while the other was about 5 feet 5 feet 10 inches tall and 140 pounds. Both carried handguns.
Anyone with information can reach 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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Two sought following stun gun attack, robbery of elderly Alhambra woman


ALHAMBRA >> Authorities released surveillance camera images of a man and woman sought in connection with the stun gun attack and robbery of an elderly woman outside her Alhambra home earlier this month.
The violent, broad-daylight robbery took place about 1 p.m. on Jan. 14 in the 900 block of East Valley Boulevard.
A 72-year-old woman had just arrived home and was getting out of her car when a man approached wearing a hard had and a reflective vest, according to Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson.
“He asked her about an electrical box on the property,” he said. When she turned away from him, the subject (shocked) her with a stun gun on the back of her neck.”
The woman fell, striking her head on the ground, police said. The man stole items from the woman’s purse and ran away.
Paramedics took the injured victim to a hospital, where she received stitches for a laceration to her head, Johnson said.
The robber was not found. He was described as a Latino man in his 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 200 pounds.
About an hour after the crime, a man and woman showed up at a Walmart store in Pico Rivera and attempted to use the victim’s debit card, Johnson said. The transaction was blocked, as the card had already been cancelled. But detectives were able to gather surveillance camera images of the man and woman, as well as their white Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Other attempts to use the victim’s credit or debit cards were made elsewhere in the Pico Rivera area, Johnson said.
Anyone who recognizes the suspects is asked to contact the Alhambra Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 626-5709-5157. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.


PHOTOS courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department

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Man wounded in Pico Rivera drive-by shooting

PICO RIVERA >> A man showed up at a hospital with gunshot wounds after a drive-by shooting outside a Pico Rivera liquor store on Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The shooting took place about 4:45 p.m. at Whittier Boulevard and Orange Street, in front of the Pico Market, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Noe Garcia said.
“The suspects pulled up in the intersection and shot north into the liquor store parking lot,” he said.
Deputies did not immediately find any victims at the scene, and potential witnesses appeared uncooperative.
As the investigation continued, a known gang member in his 40s arrived at a Montebello emergency room with a gunshot wound to his leg, the lieutenant said. The injury was not considered life-threatening.
The attackers were described only as two Latino men in a blue Volkswagen, which was last seen heading west on Whittier Boulevard.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATE: Man killed in South San Gabriel shooting

SOUTH SAN GABRIEL >> Gunfire in a residential neighborhood in South San Gabriel left one man dead Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting was reported about 3:15 p.m. in the 7900 block of Hill Drive, in the unincorporated county area, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Frank Ruiz said.
Paramedics took the victim to a hospital, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries, according to Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Three people were seen running from the scene of the shooting, Ruiz said. It was not immediately clear whether they were the attackers, or merely other people fleeing the gunfire.
No further details were available as the investigation remained in its early stages.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple City Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.


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Elderly woman attacked, robbed in Alhambra

ALHAMBRA >> Police are seeking a man who attacked and robbed an elderly woman at an Alhambra apartment complex on Saturday afternoon.
A woman in her 80s was outdoors at a complex in the 900 block of East Valley Boulevard just after 1 p.m. when the robber, described only as male, approached, Alhambra police Sgt. Ruben Soriano said.
“She doesn’t remember much,” he said.
The robber assaulted the woman, leaving her with a bruised head, according to the sergeant. It was unclear whether any weapon was used.
He then fled with the woman’s purse, Soriano said. Officers searched the area but did not find the culprit.
The woman hospitalized for examination, but was not believed to have suffered any life-threatening injuries, he said.
Anyone with information can reach Alhambra police at 626-570-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man wounded in stabbing near Covina

COVINA >> A man refused to cooperate with deputies after he was found stabbed in a residential neighborhood near Covina early Saturday, officials said.
The incident was first reported about 1:45 a.m. as a stabbing victim spotted wounded in the street in the 4600 block of West Bellbrook Street, in an unincorporated county area just outside of Covina, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bertha Payes said.
Deputies found a man in his late-30s suffering from at least one stab wound to his back, she said. But he would not tell investigators what happened or who stabbed him.
The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, Payes said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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