Suspect identified in slaying of San Dimas sandwich shop owner

"LASD Lieutenant David Coleman of the Homicide Bureau speaks during a press conference seeking the publicÕs assistance in locating the suspect involved in the murder of San Dimas Quiznos sandwich shop proprietor Pravin Patel that occurred on Tuesday, June 2 at 3:20 p.m. in the 1000 block of West Arrow Highway. Patel, was shot after being robbed at gunpoint in his restaurant. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune) "

“LASD Lieutenant David Coleman of the Homicide Bureau speaks during a press conference seeking the publicÕs assistance in locating the suspect involved in the murder of San Dimas Quiznos sandwich shop proprietor Pravin Patel that occurred on Tuesday, June 2 at 3:20 p.m. in the 1000 block of West Arrow Highway. Patel, was shot after being robbed at gunpoint in his restaurant. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

SAN DIMAS >> Homicide detectives have identified a man already in custody for a custody in connection with armored car robberies and the shooting of an armored car driver as the alleged gunman in the fatal shooting of a San Dimas sandwich shop owner in San Dimas last year, authorities announced Friday.
Sergey Gutsu, 24, is suspected in the June 2, 2015, slaying of Pravin “Peter” Patel during a robbery at the Quiznos shop Patel owned and operated at 1034 W. Arrow Highway in San Dimas, Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
He is already in custody in Sonoma County, where he and alleged accomplice Ivan Morales, 24, are accused of shooting an armored car driver during a robbery in Windsor on Tuesday, then fired shots at deputies during a chase that preceded their ultimate arrests, according to Sonoma and Los Angeles county sheriff’s officials.
“During the course of the investigation, “(Violent Crimes Investigation Unit) detectives developed information that Gutsu and Morales were likely involved in other crimes throughout the state,” Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Cecile Focha said in a written statement.
“Although we cannot divulge specific details of the investigations, we are confident that one or both are responsible for an armored car robbery in Granada Hills and a robbery/homicide in San Dimas.”
Los Angeles County homicide detectives met with Gutsu in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, officials said.
“During the interview, the suspect admitted to being involved in the murder of victim Patel,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Morales had not been linked to the San Dimas slaying, Corina said.
Q2In the San Dimas case, Patel was working behind the counter when a gunman robbed the sandwich shop, Lt. David Coleman of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said at the time.
Patel turned over the money from the register, amounting to no more than a few hundred dollars, when the robber threatened to shoot two customers inside the store, officials said.
But once the robber left, Patel followed him outside and became involved in a struggle with the robber, Corina said. The gunman opened fire, mortally wounding Patel.
Patel, 62, described by Coleman as a “loving, kind man,” worked alongside his wife at the family restaurant.
Authorities released a composite sketch of the killer and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of Patel’s killer. But the gunman remained elusive, and unidentified, until he implicated himself in the slaying on Tuesday, Corina said.
A gun seized from Gutsu at the time of his arrest in Sonoma County is of the same caliber used in Patel’s killing, Corina said. Forensic testing was pending to determined whether the weapons were one and the same.
Gutsu grew up in Arcadia, and more recently split his time between southern and northern California, Corina said.
According to Sonoma County booking records, Gutsu remains in custody without bail on charges of robbery attempted murder, along with special allegations that he personally used a gun.
The investigation into his alleged crimes in Los Angeles County and elsewhere remained ongoing, officials said.
“We’re still working our case and putting it together,” Corina said.

PHOTO of victim Pravin Patel, below (courtesy)

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Police disarm, arrest knife-wielding man in Pasadena


PASADENA >> Police used a Taser to disarm and arrest a homeless burglary suspect believed to be high on drugs who confronted officers with a knife in each hand early Saturday, officials said.
Charles Romero, 50, was ultimately booked on suspicion of burglary and assault on police officers, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
The incident began about 2:30 a.m. after officers received a report of a man in the street armed with a knife in the 100 block of West Dayton Street, the lieutenant said.
Officers encountered Romero, a homeless man known to frequent Pasadena, “with a kitchen knife in each hand.”
Romero appeared “agitated” and was “yelling incoherently,” but initially complied with police command to drop the knives and back away from the weapons, Goodman said.
The suddenly, Romero sprints back to the knives, picked them up and began advancing on officers, Goodman said.
“The suspect walked parallel to the officers while holding both knives over his head in a threatening manner,” he said.
Police used a Taser on the man, causing him to again drop the knives. Officer then took Romero into custody without a further struggle.
Officials soon learned that Romero had stolen the two kitchen knives during a break-in at a nearby apartment, Goodman said. Based on his behavior, police suspected Romero was under the influence of a stimulant, such as methamphetamine.
Goodman commended the judgement and restraint of the officers.
“Officers involved used exceptional decision making skills, combined with sound tactics, which clearly prevented as lethal encounter,” he said.

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Child and adult wounded in Altadena shooting

ALTADENA >> A in residential neighborhood in Altadena left a child and an adult seriously wounded late Tuesday, authorities said.
A deputy came across the two wounded victims shortly before 11 p.m. in the area of Figueroa Drive and Olive Avenue, Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
Paramedics rushed a child and an adult to the hospital for treatment, she said.
Both victims were listed in critical condition, officials said.
No further details were immediately available.

Developing…

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Montebello man arrested following SWAT standoff

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MONTEBELLO >> A SWAT team used teargas and a K-9 to apprehend a suspect following an hours-long standoff at a Montebello apartment complex late Tuesday into early Wednesday, police said.
Edward Palacios, 39, of Montebello was ultimately arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting or obstructing police the standoff, which began about 11 p.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of S. 7th Street, Montebello police Capt. Luis Lopez said in a written statement.
A family member of Palacios called police a short time earlier to report the suspect had threatened him with a gun, Lopez said.
“When Officers arrived they made contact with Palacios, however he quickly barricaded himself inside his apartment,” the captain said. “Officers then contained the apartment and continued their efforts with communicating with him.”
Police learned a woman, Palacios’ girlfriend, was also inside the apartment, Sgt. Julio Calleros said. The woman, who was not being held against her will, exited the apartment amid the standoff. She was not arrested.
But Palacios refused to surrender, remaining holed-up inside the apartment, police.
0630_NWS_SGT-L-MONTEBELLO-STANDOFF2A Los Angeles County sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau team was summoned to take over the standoff.
After several hours, deputies used teargas to smoke Palacios out of the apartment, Calleros said. He continued to struggle once outside and was apprehended with the help of a police dog.
Palacios was taken to a hospital for treatment of dog bites described as minor to moderate prior to booking, officials said.
He was expected to be held without bail pending his initial court appearance.

PHOTOS: [TOP] Edward Palacios booking photo courtesy of the Montebello Police Department. [BELOW] Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau deputies during standoff, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Two shooters sought following gunfire in Pasadena neighborhood


PASADENA >> Police found bullet casings from two different guns and a shattered car window, but no victims, after gunfire erupted in a northwest Pasadena neighborhood early Sunday, authorities said.
Numerous residents called 911 to report gunshots in the 100 block of West Washington Boulevard, near Navarro Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Officers ultimately found two separate groups of spent bullet casings along the street in the area, the lieutenant said. One of the groups of shell casings were from a 9mm handgun, while the other was from a .32-caliber handgun.
Police also noted the rear window had been shot out of a parked car.
But no victims were found at the scene, and a check of area hospitals also turned up no victims of the shooting, Mercado said.
No description of the shooters was available. It remained unclear whether the shooting had been a gunfight between two people, or if two shooters had fire their guns in concert.
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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Man gravely wounded in Norwalk shooting


NORWALK >> A man was hospitalized in grave condition Sunday after he was shot in a residential Norwalk neighborhood late Saturday, authorities said.
The shooting was first reported at 11:33 p.m. in the 14400 block of Claressa Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Hank Ortega said.
The victim, 33, was believed to be walking down the street when an attacker or attackers approached in a dark-colored vehicle and opened fire, the sergeant said.
Paramedics took the wounded man to a hospital, where he was listed in grave condition, Ortega said.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were available as the investigation continued Sunday afternoon.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man wounded in La Puente shooting


LA PUENTE >> A man suffered a gunshot wound to the back but was expected to survive after an argument escalated into a shooting Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 5 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 200 block of North 5th Street, between Workman and Rowland Streets, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Tubbs said.
A man in his 30s was standing in front of a home when the attacker approached in a white Nissan sedan, the lieutenant said.
After exiting his car and having a brief argument with the victim, the attacker pulled a handgun and opened fire on the victim several times, striking him once in back, the lieutenant said.
The shooter got back into his car and fled the area, Tubbs said. A detailed description was not available.
Paramedics took the wounded man to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, he said.
The motive in the shooting remained under investigation.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Taxi driver robbed, slashed with knife in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A taxi passenger turned into an armed robber late Wednesday when he slashed the cabbie with a knife while trying to skip out on the fare in Pasadena, police said.
The crime took place about 11:50 p.m. in the 300 block of Cordova Street, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
The victim, a 57-year-old Glendale man, dropped a passenger off after an $88 cab ride, the lieutenant said.
“The suspect fled the can and tried to run away without paying,” he said. The taxi driver chased after him.
“After he confronted the suspect, a fight ensued, during which the suspect produced a small knife and swung it toward the victim,” Goodman said.
The cab driver suffered a minor cut but declined medical treatment.
Police searched the area but did not find the robber, Goodman said. A details suspect description was not available.

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UPDATED: Man shot to death outside San Gabriel Valley house party in L.A. County’s sixth homicide in 12 hours


EAST VALINDA >> Gunfire erupted following a house party in East Valinda early Saturday, leaving one man dead and another hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.
The slaying was the sixth deadly shooting reported in Los Angeles County in less than 12 hours.
The deadly shooting took place just before 2:50 a.m. in the 400 block of Shipman Avenue, in the unincorporated county area between La Puente and West Covina, according to Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Both victims had just attended a house party.
“As the party ended and the guests dispersed, the victims were leaving the location but were confronted by an unknown suspect,” Saldana said in a written statement. “The suspect produced a handgun and opened fire fatally striking one victim in the upper torso. He died at the scene.”
The man’s identity was not released pending positive identification and notification of family, coroner’s officials said.
The second victim suffered gunshots to his “upper and lower torso,” she said. He was taken to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
No suspects were in custody, Saldana said. Investigators sought a white SUV seen speeding away from the shooting scene. It was last seen heading west on Northam Avenue.
No further details were available.
The attack was the last of six deadly shooting reported within 12 hours in Los Angeles County. Five men and one woman lost their lives in the afternoon and overnight violence.
Three of the deadly shootings occurred in the same neighborhood surrounding Franklin D. Roosevelt Park in an unincorporated county area just east of Los Angeles, officials said.
A man died in a 1 a.m. shooting in the 7600 block of Miramonte Avenue in an unincorporated county area just east of Los Angeles, according to the sheriff’s department.
“The victim was working on a car parked along the curb in front of a residence when an unknown suspect approached him,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. “The suspect produced a firearm and opened fire striking the victim.”
The victim succumbed to his injuries at a hospital, authorities said.
Another man died in a 12:30 a.m. shooting in at Union Pacific Avenue and Bonnie Beach Place in East Los Angeles, Saldana said.
Deputies responding to reports of “shots fired” encountered a man lying on the sidewalk suffering from a gunshot wound, she said. He died at a hospital. No further details were available.
A woman died in an ambush attack in a 12:10 a.m. at Carson Street and Evonda Avenue in Carson, authorities said.
“…the victim was walking west on Carson Street when an unknown suspect approached her from behind,” according to a statement issued by the sheriff’s Information Bureau. “The suspect produced a firearm and opened fire striking the victim. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Two men were shot, one fatally, three hours earlier in the 1900 block of East 78th Street, less than a mile from the scene of the Miramonte Avenue shooting.
The victims were standing in a driveway with several other people when two men approached on a minibike, Deputy Trina Schrader of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
“One of the men on the minibike produced a handgun and opened fire. Following the shooting, the suspects rode away westbound and out of view,” according to Schrader.
Two men were struck by the gunfire, she said. One of them succumbed to his wounds at a hospital, while the other was hospitalized with injuries described as “serious.”
Friday’s violence began with a 3:47 p.m. shooting in the 7500 block of Compton Avenue in unincorporated Los Angeles, around the corner from the shooting on Miramonte Avenue.
The victim was riding his bike along the sidewalk when his attacker exited a white car parked along the curb and began shooting, Schrader said.
“The suspect got back into the vehicle and drove away southbound Compton Avenue to eastbound 76th Street and out of view,” she said.
The victim, who was shot multiple times, died at a hospital.
No suspects were in custody, and no suspect descriptions were available in any of the shootings.
And in Boyle Heights, a young girl, reportedly 10 years old, was wounded in the head by an errant bullet from a nearby shooting.
A male suspect in a vehicle shot at a bicyclist, also described only as male, about 6 p.m. Friday at Chicago Street and Rogers Avenue, Los Angeles police Officer Rosario Herrera said.
The gunfire missed the intended target, but a bullet struck the girl in the head, officials said.
An update on the girl’s condition was not available Saturday, but her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, Herrera said.
Anyone with information on any of the deadly shootings is asked contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anyone with information regarding the Boyle Heights shooting can reach the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Station at 323-342-4100.
Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Shots fired as clerk, customers chase would-be robber from Pasadena market; suspect jailed


PASADENA >> A Pasadena man shot at a market clerk and a group of customers who chased him from the store during a robbery attempt Wednesday afternoon, police said.
A SWAT team ultimately apprehended Justin Shawn Bryson, 21, of Pasadena about five hours after the failed 12:50 p.m. heist at Chan’s Market, 1237 Lincoln Avenue, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
He walked into the store with armed with a handgun and wearing a bandana over his face, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said. He demanded money from the cash register.
“(The clerk) walked away from the register area and began throwing items at the suspect,” Luna said. \
“The suspect fired a single shot from his handgun at the victim.” The bullet missed.
Luna said the would-be robber pointed his gun at a woman shopping at the store as he fled the market and ran north along Lincoln Avenue.
The clerk, a 57-year-old La Crescenta man, got into his car and chased after his attacker.
Three customers from the store got into their car as well and followed after the clerk, police said.
“(Bryson) turned around at one point and possibly fired at least one gunshot at the victims,” Luna said. He was last seen running down MacDonald Street, between Mentone and Glen avenues.
Neither the clerk nor the customers — described as a 70-year-old woman, a 50-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl — were injured.
Police cordoned off the neighborhood and searched for the suspect with the aid bloodhounds and a helicopter, Luna said. He was ultimated tracked to a home in the 200 block of MacDonald Street. “where he voluntarily surrendered,” Luna said.
“Detectives executed a search warrant at the location and evidence was recovered,” he added.
Bryson was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, Luna said.
He was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.

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