Woman accused of torching family’s home in Duarte


DUARTE >> A woman is accused of arson after she allegedly torched her family’s home in Duarte during an argument, authorities said.
The fire broke out about 3 p.m. at a house in the 3000 block of Freeborn Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ronald Daily said.
Deputies were first summoned to the home for a family disturbance among adult family members, the lieutenant said.
“One of the family members had deliberately lit a fire,” he said.
The others inside the home escaped without injury, but the flames engulfed the home, resulting in “substantial” damage, according to Daily.
Deputies found and arrested the alleged arsonist at the scene, he said.
The woman’s identity was not available as she was taken to a hospital prior to booking after complaining of a pre-existing medical issue, he said.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail were summoned to take over the investigation.

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UPDATED: 16-year-old Arcadia boy shot to death near Duarte


A 16-year-old Arcadia boy died following a shooting in a residential neighborhood between Monrovia and Duarte early Sunday, authorities said.
Gabriel Shea Carlos died in the 1:40 a.m. shooting in the 400 block of Schrode Avenue in the unincorporated county area, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Jerry McKibben said.
“Detectives have learned that Temple Station deputies responded to a ‘shots fired’ call at the location,” Deputy Lisa Jansen said in a written statement. “Upon their arrival, they found a male Hispanic juvenile unconscious and suffering from at least one gunshot wound to the upper body.”
Paramedics pronounced Carlos dead at the scene.
No further details were available.
“There is no suspect information at this time and detectives believe this incident is not gang related,” Jansen said.
A memorial of flowers, candles, a rosary, a gray shirt and a baseball cap adorned with a 1970s-era Atlanta Braves logo marked the site of the shooting on Sunday afternoon. Mourners gathered there did not wish to comment.
Sunday morning’s shooting is the 5th fatal attack reported in the Duarte-Monrovia area this year.
It took place two weeks after residents of the Duarte and Monrovia areas marched through both cities to decry the recent spate of violence.
Anyone with information can reach 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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Duarte, Monrovia community rallies for peace in wake of shootings

Dozens of community members, including several families who have lost loved ones to violence, marched through the streets of Duarte and Monrovia on Saturday to respond to recent shootings in the area with a message of peace.
The Duarte-Monrovia Peace March, organized by the Community Mediation Team, drew demonstrators of all ages to Duarte City Hall before they made a 1.5-mile trek to the Mary Wilcox the Mary Youth Center in Monrovia. Marchers wore white clothing and carried signs reading, “Peace & Unity,” and “Love Conquers Hate.”
Monrovia police Chaplain Steve Martinez had a message for the family members of slain loved ones who took part in the event
“I know it’s been difficult for you. It could have weeks ago, months ago, years ago, but you’re here today, and we are here to support you, and show love to your family and to honor the memory of the person that you lost and that you still love,” he said.
“And this is also a sign to show people in the community that we want to do something. We want to make a change.”
The Monrovia-Duarte community has seen four people killed and four others wounded in a space of at least eight shootings reported since January.
Among them was 39-year-old Kirinda Morehead of Duarte, who was shot to death on Feb. 18 as he arrived home with his fiancee and two young children in the 2300 block of Bashor Street.
“As he got out of his truck, someone shot him 12 times,” said Diane Myrick, the mother of Morehead’s fiancee. Though the couple was not yet married, she said she already thought of Morehead as her son-in-law.
“He was a hard-working, loving, family-loving, Christian man who did not deserve to be gunned down in the street like that in front of his children and his fiancee,” she said.
“All we can do now is just hope and pray that the person who perpetrated this act this act upon this family (is caught),” Myrick said.
“And we just want to thank the city of Duarte for all that you’re doing to ensure that the these streets are safe,” she said. In 25 years living in the area, “I’ve never experienced anything like we have in the past few months.”
“It’s a struggle day-by-day,” Myrick said. “These shooters just pull up, and they have no clue what they’re leaving behind. No clue. But God is able, and we’ll get through this together.”
The family of 18-year-old Oscar Garcia, who was shot to death in his hometown of Monrovia on April 22, carried pictures of the slain Canyon Oaks High School as they marched.
Garcia was visiting with friends in a residential garage in the 100 block of West Cypress Street while visiting friends when an attacker opened fire on the group of teens. Garcia was mortally wounded and another teenage boy was seriously injured in the shooting, but survived. Investigators suspect the shooter was looking someone else when he encountered and shot the teens.
“Without any though, he just went ahead and shot my brother,” David Garcia said. “He was a good kid.”
Garcia was an avid skateboarder who loved spending time at the Monrovia Skate Park, family members said.
To honor Garcia’s memory, loved ones have begun circulating a petition to formally rename the park after him. The petition is available online at www.change.org/p/the-community-of-monrovia-naming-the-skatepark-after-oscar-garcia.
The family of 18-year-old Malcolm Mency of Duarte also added their voices to the march.
Mency, who had just become a father, was shot to death at Broderick and Felberg avenues, in an unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia, as he walked home from work on Dec. 22.
“I have in my heart a long list of families impacted that have not made the headlines,” said CMT Co-Chair and former Duarte Mayor Lois Gaston, who hosted the event.
Representatives from numerous local churches, organizations and government agencies took part in the assembly.
Capt. David Flores of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Temple Station, which patrols Duarte and nearby unincorporated county areas, said he was glad to see the strong show of community involvement.
“My heart goes out to all of you who have lost someone or know someone who was lost,” he said.
“It’s good that we’re here,” the captain added. “This comes down to citizenship and making a stand for what’s right and coming together for the community, so I’m so happy to see everyone here. When the community comes together and we partner together, good work can be done. And truly this a great step in that direction.”

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Duarte attempted burglary suspects jailed; loaded gun an heroin seized


DUARTE >> A report of an apparent burglary in progress in Duarte led deputies to arrest three suspects and recover a loaded pistol, as well as about an ounce of heroin, authorities said.
The incident began about 12:40 p.m. when man called 911 report two men and a women were at his front door in the 2900 block of Elda Street, jiggling the door handle in an attempt to break in, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Hahnlein said.
“The resident reported that the individuals did not enter his house and left the area in a black Range Rover,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Deputies soon saw and pulled over an SUV matching the description of the burglar’s vehicle at Royal Oaks Drive and Greenbank Avenue in Duarte,
“The female driver had a no-bail warrant out of Oregon and was driving with a suspended license,” according to the statement. “A loaded .40-caliber (handgun) was found in the vehicle along with approximately an ounce of heroin.”
Further information regarding that the woman was wanted for out of state was not available.
The woman, along with two male passengers, were expected to be booked on suspicion of attempted burglary and possession of heroin for sales, Hahnlein said.
Karine Garabedyan, 32, Rosalio LopezUribe, 27, and Joshua Taft, 33, all of Oregon were expected to be booked on suspicion of attempted burglary and possession of heroin for sales, Hahnlein said. At least one of the suspects was also expected to face charged in connection with the gun.

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UPDATED: Man charged with kidnapping, assaulting ex-girlfriend in Duarte

DUARTE >> An East Los Angeles man accused of kidnapping, assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend in Duarte earlier this week denied criminal charges on Friday, authorities said.
Alberto Casillas, 37, of East Los Angeles is accused of kidnapping, domestic violence and making criminal threats, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment hearing on Friday afternoon in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“The felony complaint also alleges that the defendant was previously convicted of making criminal threats in 2010,” Ardalani said in a written statement.
The defendant showed up at the home of his ex-girlfriend in the area of Millbrae and Central avenues in Duarte about 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, prosecutors and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“While in front of the woman’s residence, the defendant allegedly forced the ex-girlfriend into his vehicle and threatened to hurt her if she got out,” Ardalani said.
“Casillas then reportedly drove the pair to his East Los Angeles home, the prosecutor added. A witness to the alleged abduction contacted law enforcement about the attack,” she said.
Deputies found both Casillas and his alleged victim at the suspect’s home on Ferguson Drive in East Los Angeles, on the border between Commerce and East Los Angeles, sheriff’s Lt. John McClure said.
“When officers arrived at the defendant’s home, they allegedly found the victim in the driveway with injuries to her body,” Ardalani said. Casillas was arrested without a struggle.
Casillas is scheduled to return to court May 17 for a preliminary hearing, court officials said.
He was initially held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, county booking records show. But the court granted a request from the prosecution that bail be increased to $250,000, Ardalani said.
If convicted of all charges, Casillas faces up to 24 years in state prison.

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Man accused of kidnapping girlfriend in Duarte


DUARTE >> An East L.A. man is accused of kidnapping and domestic violence after witnesses reported seeing him force his girlfriend into a car in Duarte on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
Deputies first responded to the area of Millbrae and Central avenues about 1:45 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John McClure said. Witnesses reported seeing a man forcing a woman into a car before driving off.
Deputies soon identified the possible suspect and headed to his home on Ferguson Drive in East Los Angeles, on the border between Commerce and East Los Angeles, McClure said.
The man and the woman complied with deputies’ orders to come out of the home about 5 p.m., he said.
The woman told deputies she had not been the victim of a crime, McClure said. But based on witness accounts, deputies arrested the man on suspicion of kidnapping and domestic violence.
The suspect’s identity was not available pending the booking process.

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Car-to-car shooting reported near Duarte


DUARTE >> A car-to-car shooting in an unincorporated county area near Duarte on Friday afternoon left one vehicle riddled with bullets, but no injuries were reported, officials said.
The shooting took place about 3:45 p.m. in the area of California Avenue and Camino Real Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Erick Martinez said. Two people were inside the car that was struck with a volley of gunfire, but both escaped injury.
“(The victims’) vehicle was parked on the side of the road. Another vehicle pulled up alongside of it, at which time a number of rounds were fired,” Martinez said. “The victims’ vehicle was struck six times.”
The shooter was believed to be a lone man in an older model, silver, four-door Nissan Sentra he said. The car was last seen heading west on Camino Real.
Sheriff’s gang detectives were handling the investigation into the attack.
Monrovia, Duarte and the unincorporated county area that separates them have seen at least 10 shootings since January, leaving four victims dead and five more wounded.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man wounded in shooting near Duarte


DUARTE >> A man suffered a leg wound in a shooting in an unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting too place about 5 p.m. in the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Harris said.
Deputies responding to the incident encountered a man in his early-20s who had been shot in the lower calf with a large-caliber pistol bullet, the sergeant said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The shooter fled the scene in a red sedan, the sergeant said. A detailed description of the attacker was not available.
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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UPDATED: One teen killed, another wounded in Monrovia shooting


MONROVIA >> A Saturday night shooting in Monrovia left one teenager dead and another wounded, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 11:35 p.m. in the 100 block of West Cypress Street, just west of Myrtle Avenue, according to Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
Monrovia police first responded to reports of gunshots when they found the victims, Alexander said in a written statement.
“Both victims had been shot at least one time in the torso,” she said.
Paramedics pronounced one of the young men dead at the scene, officials said.
He was identified as 18-year-old Oscar Andrew Garcia of Monrovia, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
The second gunshot victim, described as 17 years old, was hospitalized in critical condition.
The shooter was described only as a Latino man in his 20s. Sheriff’s officials released no further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting.
Neighbors said the shooting in or just outside the detached garage of a back house, and involved more than 10 gunshots.
A pair of paramedic’s gloved marked the scene of the shooting on Sunday afternoon.
One neighbor, who did not want her identity published for fear of retaliation, said the two victims did not live at the home, but were visiting friends when the gunfire erupted.
The shooter entered the property through a rear fence, which leads to an alley running just south of Cypress Street.
The gunman immediately opened fire before fleeing back through the alley, neighbors said.
Saturday night’s double shooting is the latest in a spate of at least seven shooting in the Monrovia-Duarte area since January that have left four victims dead and another four wounded. Three suspects have been jailed in connection with one of the non-fatal shootings. The rest of the cases remain unsolved.
•Two women escaped injury, though a home and parked car were struck by gunfire, in a drive-by shooting in the 500 block of Maydee Street in unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte on Friday night.
•A La Puente man was found shot to death inside a vacant home in the 2600 block of Calle Martos in Duarte on April 1.
•A man was wounded in a shooting in the 400 block of East Duarte Road in Monrovia on March 29.
•A 20-year-old man died in a shooting in the 400 block of Camino Real Street in the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia on March 18.
•A 39-year-old man was shot to death as he arrived home with his wife and children in the 2300 block of Bashor Street in Duarte on Feb. 18. A $10,000 reward has since been authorized in the case by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
•A man was wounded in a drive-by shooting in the 2000 block of Goodall Avenue in the unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte on Jan. 15.
•Two men suffered gunshot wounds in a shooting at Cresrfield Drive and Bloomdale Street in Duarte on Jan. 7. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.
News of Saturday neight’s shooting brought longtime victims’ advocate Jeanette Chavez to tears.
Chavez lost her 16-year-old daughter, Sammantha Salas, in a shooting in the 2500 block of Peck Road in the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia that took place amid a spate of gang-violence that plagued the area in late-2007. Salas was slain with automatic gunfire as the walked from her father’s home to a nearby store with two friends. One of Salas’ friends was also wounded in the shooting.
Two cousins from Monrovia have since been sentenced to life in prison for the slaying.
Chavez has spent the past decade working with victim’s advocacy organizations, as well as on her own, to try to prevent other families from suffering similar tragedies.
“This is really taking a toll on me, and taking a toll on my heart,” she said of the recent violence. “It’s like a black eye for my daughter.”
Chavez said she addressed law enforcement and county supervisors at a Monrovia, Arcadia Duarte Town Council meeting on Wednesday regarding the issue of violence in the Monrovia-Duarte area. Two more shooting have occurred in the area since the meeting.
Chavez said she asked at the meeting about improving communications between the several law enforcement agencies that patrol the area, as well as how many deputies are assigned to the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia. But she said she did not receive satisfactory answers.
In response to the violence in the area in 2007 and 2008, Monrovia officials sought and obtained a gang injunction against two local street gangs in a 6-square-mile area encompassing portions of Monrovia and nearby unincorporated county areas.
But Duarte declined to join in the injunction, which Chavez said was the wrong decision.
“Shame on Duarte for not joining the gang injunction,” she said.
The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is helping Monrovia police with the investigation into Saturday’s fatal shooting.
Anyone with information us urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to  at 800-222-8477.

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Women escape unharmed following drive-by shooting near Duarte


A home and a parked car were struck by bullets, but two women escaped injury, in a drive-by shooting on Friday night in an unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia, officials said.
The gunfire was reported about 8:55 p.m. in the 500 block of Maydee Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Frank Ruiz said.
Two women were standing on a corner when a car drove by with three male occupants inside, the lieutenant said. Shots were fired from the passing vehicle in the direction of the women.
The women were not struck by the gunfire, Ruiz said. But a nearby house and car were pierced by bullets.
No further details were available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple 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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