UPDATED: Duarte man gunned down in front of home


DUARTE >> A man died after he was shot as he arrived home with his wife and children in Duarte on Saturday night, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 8:20 p.m. in the 2300 block of Bashor Street, according to Deputy Kelvin Moody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Information Bureau.
Kirinda Lavar Morehead died at the scene of the shooting, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
“Detectives have learned that the victim, a 39-year-old man, parked his car behind his wife’s car at the location. The victim and his wife exited their cars and were preparing to walk to their residence on Mount Olive Drive,” Moody said in a written statement.
“A white vehicle driving westbound on Bashor Street pulled up alongside the victim,” the deputy said. “An occupant opened fire striking the victim multiple times. The victim’s wife was uninjured.”
The car was last seen heading north on Mount Olive Drive, officials said.
Paramedics pronounced Morehead dead at the scene.
No further details, including a description of the attacker or attackers, were available.
Neighbor Keyran Kelly, 22, said he was inside his home with his mother and teenage sister when eight to nine shots rang out in rapid succession.
“We hurried into the back room of our house,” he said.
He said he then heard the sound of a woman’s anguished voice calling out for help.
“Call 911,” she exclaimed, according to Kelly. “My baby. I can’t live without him. His two kids need him.”
Kelly said he emerged to look around after he could hear that police had arrived in the neighborhood.
He saw the victim lying next to his truck, which was parked on the street and pierced with at least three bullet holes.
The two children, who were with their mother only yards away when the shooting occurred, were asking where their father was, Kelly said.
The motive in the fatal attack was not yet clear.
Anyone with information is urged 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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Cleanup efforts continue in wake of SoCal soaking

Evacuation orders were lifted in Duarte Saturday morning as crews worked throughout the Southland to clean up mud and fallen trees, as well as repair massive sink holes, left in the wake of Friday’s downpour.
A thin layer of mud flowed onto streets in portions of the Fish fire burn area in Duarte during the storm, but K-rails and other measured held fast, and no significant damage was reported following six straight hours of heavy rain, according to city and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
“Exising K-rails and newly installed deflector walls on Melcanyon Road contained the mud and debris flow that occurred in the city shortly after 6 p.m. on Friday,” city officials said in a written statement. “No property damage or injuries have been reported and city crews were on site prior to 7 a.m. to commence clean-up work.”
Officials lifted mandatory evacuation orders Residents of about 200 homes in the Fish fire burn area Saturday morning. The majority of residents of the area, however, ignored the order and chose instead ride out the storm.
•Map: Fish fire burn area
The Fish fire burn area remained on “Yellow Alert” Saturday. Only residents were being allowed into the previously evacuated neighborhood, and rain-related parking restrictions remained in effect.
Parking was not available on Melcanyon Road, between Brookridge and Fish Canyon roads, due to the continuing clean-up efforts, officials said. Residents of that stretch of road were advised to legally park an adjoining side streets and walk to their homes.
Intermittent street closures were expected as the cleanup continued, officials said. Residents were urged to keep streets free from vehicles, trash bins or other objects, or the may be removed by authorities.
The Duarte Transit was not operating within the affected area.
Throughout Southern California, fallen trees, mud and sink holes continued affecting traffic Saturday.
•Video: Cleanup on Melcanyon Road in Duarte
A large sink hole opened up alongside San Bernardino Road at Hollenbeck Avenue in Covina Saturday morning, swallowing up a tree and forcing the closure of the intersection as workers made repairs, Covina police officials said.
The sink hole was blamed on a broken irrigation line, according to Covina police Capt. David Povero.
In Pasadena, a tree toppled over onto a clothing store in the 1100 block of Green Street Saturday morning, prompting authorities to red tag the structure, Pasadena Fire Department officials said.
A woman was rescued Friday night after her car, a followed later by a minivan, fell 10 feet down into a massive sink hole that opened up on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, south of Moorpark Street. The woman suffered no serious injuries, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.
Four deaths in the Southland are attributed to the storm. A man died in Sherman Oaks Saturday morning after a tree knocked down electrical lines, which electrocuted him. A driver was found dead inside a submerged car in Victorville. And two people died in car crashes believed to be rain-related.
Los Angeles County parks that remained closed due to the storm included the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park, the Eaton Canyon Park and Nature Center, Walnut Creek Community Regional Park, San Angelo Park, Rimgrove Park and Avocado Heights Park, county Department of Parks and Recreation officials announced Saturday.

PHOTOS: [ABOVE] A large sink hole swallowed a tree and forced a street closure on San Bernardino Road at Hollenbeck Avenue in Covina on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (Courtesy, Covina Police Department) [BELOW] A tree toppled over onto a clothing store in the 1100 block of Green Street in Pasadena early Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, prompting authorities to red tag the building. (Courtesy, Pasadena Fire Department)

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180 homes in Duarte’s Fish fire burn area to be evacuated ahead of storm

DUARTE >> Officials have issued mandatory evacuation orders to take effect Friday morning for residents of 180 homes and an elementary school near the Fish fire burn area in Duarte as anticipated heavy rain prompted worries of flooding, debris flows and mudslides.
Residents of Fish fire burn area surrounding Valley View Elementary School, are urged to evacuate by 7 a.m., city officials announced Thursday afternoon in a written statement. The school will also be closed on Sunday.
•Map: Fish fire burn area
The area saw mud flowing into the streets, particularly Melcanyon Road, during heavy rains in January and December. But no significant damage has been reported in the area this season as a result of mudslides, debris flows or flooding.
But with a massive storm expected to drop as much as an inch per hour of rain on Southland and wind gusts of up to 70 mph on Friday and into Saturday, officials took no chances with the fire-denuded and already-soaked hillsides
“L.A. County Public Works has also been cleaning local debris basins since February 15 in advance of this event to accommodate anticipated mudflow,” according to the city statement.
“Los Angeles County Public Works has issued a Phase 2 Flow Forecast for this storm anticipating that heavy downpours and wind could cause mud and debris flows even more extensive than January’s flows on Melcanyon Road and adjacent streets which resulted in over 2,800 cubic yards of mud,” the statement said.
Officials went door-to-door notifying affected residents of the evacuation order on Thursday afternoon.
“Please note, residents under mandatory evacuation orders will not be allowed back into their homes until the orders are officially lifted by Duarte Public Safety officials,” according to the statement. “Residents that refuse to evacuate must be prepared to shelter in place until evacuation orders are lifted. There will be no re-entry into evacuation area.”
The National Weather Service in Oxnard issued a county-wide Flash Flood Watch, which is to remain in effect through Saturday morning.
“Projected rainfall totals through Saturday morning are expected to range between 3 and 6 inches across coast and valleys with 5 to 10 inches possible in favored foothill and mountain locations,” according to the Flash Flood Watch/ “Heaviest rainfall amounts (are) expected along south facing slopes from the Santa Ynez Range east through the San Gabriels.
The heaviest rain is expected to fall between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, officials added.
City phones, as well as the city’s Emergency Operations Center, will remain staffed 24-hours between Friday and Saturday mornings.
“City staff will continuously be deployed within the Fish fire impact area to address situations as they arise,” the city statement said.
The city is teaming with the Red Cross to open an evacuation center starting at 7 a.m. Friday at the Duarte Community Center, 1600 Huntington Drive. It will remain open until the evacuations are lifted.
“Evacuated residents are encouraged to bring medicines and any other items they may need for a minimum 48-hour period,” the city statement said. “Meals will be provided, and county animal control officials will be on-hand to help with displaced pets.
Trash pickup in the affected area, which normally occurs on Fridays, will be postponed until Monday. Residents are asked not to move their trash cans out to the street until Monday morning.
Staffed street closured will be set up throughout the evacuation area.
Filled sandbags are available at the corner of Mountaincrest and Brookridge roads, officials said. Unfilled sandbags are being distributed behind at Los Angeles County Fire Station 44, 1105 Highland Ave.

PHOTO: Mud and debris stacked up against the K-rails along Melcanyon Road below the recent Fish fire burn area in Duarte on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for homes surround Valley View Park and Valley View Elementary School. (Watchara Phomicinda/Staff Photographer)

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Man and woman jailed after chase from Azusa to Duarte


AZUSA >> A man and woman led police on a pursuit that ended with a crash in Duarte before they were arrested late Friday, police said.
Driver Dennis Ayon,, 36, of Azusa was booked on suspicion of evading police and felony drug possession, Azusa police officials said in a written statement. Passenger Darla Abriel, 30, of Glendora was booked on suspicion of a misdemeanor drug offense and outstanding warrants, according to Azusa police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The pursuit began shortly after 8 p.m. after an Azusa police officer tried to stop the car they were riding in for a traffic violation near 5th Street and Dalton Avenue, Azusa police officials said in a written statement.
“The driver failed to stop and led officers on a vehicle pursuit from the City of Azusa through the City of Monrovia and ultimately into the City of Duarte,” according to the statement, “The vehicle lost control and collided with several parked vehicles in the 2000 block of Mountain (Avenue), City of Duarte.”
Both the driver and passenger were treated for apparently minor injuries prior to booking, officials said. Further details regarding he type and amount of drugs allegedly possessed by the suspects was not available.
Information regarding Ayon’s bail amount and initial court appearance was not available Saturday, as he remained hospitalized, officials said. He is already on felony probation under the terms of AB 109, records show.
Abriel was being held in lieu of $45,000 bail pending an arraignment hearing scheduled Monday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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Classes cancelled Monday at Valley View Elementary School in Duarte; K-rails continue to hold in Fish fire impact area


DUARTE >> Officials cancelled Monday classes at a Duarte elementary school at the center the Fish fire impact area, which was threatened by mudslides and flooding Sunday as a storm dropped inches of rain over the Southland on Sunday afternoon.
School will be cancelled Monday at Valley View Elementary School, 237 Melcanyon Road, according to city and Duarte Unified School District officials.
Mud piled up high alongside roadside K-rails guarding the surrounding neighborhoods, but continued to hold Sunday afternoon, despite a heavy downpour Sunday morning, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. James Long said.
“So far, everything is holding, and there’s been really very minor mudflow activity,” Duarte spokeswoman Karen Herrera said.
Mandatory evacuations remained in effect for the Fish fire impact area, affecting 180 homes.
•Map: Fish fire impact area
An evacuation center capable of taking in both people and pets has been set up by city and Red Cross officials at the Duarte Community Center, 1600 Huntington Drive. It is scheduled to remain open so long as the city’s Red Alert, and corresponding mandatory evacuation orders, remain in effect.
“Very few” people made us of shelter, Herrera said.
The majority of residents of the affected area chose not to heed evacuation orders, but to shelter in place instead, she said.
Voluntary evacuation orders were also issued for neighborhoods in the Colby fire impact area in Azusa, authorities said.
A Flash Flood Warning was to remain in effect in the area through 6 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

STORMphoto

PHOTO by Watchara Phomicinda

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Incoming storm prompts mandatory evacuations in Duarte’s Fish fire impact area

FISHmap

DUARTE >> Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for homes below the recent Fish fire burn area in Duarte Sunday morning as a powerful storm threatened to drop as much as 6 inches of rain in the area, prompting fears of mudslides and flooding.
The evacuation orders are to take effect at 7 a.m. as the city activated a Red Alert for the impacted neighborhoods, which surround Valley View Park and Valley View Elementary School, city officials said in a written statement.
The evacuation zone includes portions of Deerlane Drive, Melcanyon Road, Brookridge Road, Mountaincrest Road, Greenbank Avenue and Bettyhill Avenue. Police and Community Emergency Response Team volunteers went door-to-door Saturday night notifying residents of the evacuations.
•Fish fire burn area map
The storm is expected to reach the area around 9 a.m.
“Although the timing could fluctuate, the heaviest rainfall is expected between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and between 4 to 6 inches in total rain is expected,” according to the city statement.
“Widespread, heavy downpours could cause mud and debris flows more extensive than Friday’s on Melcanyon Road and adjacent streets, which resulted in over 2,800 cubic yards of mud.”
Rates of up to an inch of rain per hour are predicted, which is well above the threshold authorities say can trigger mudslides. And the denuded hillsides are already saturated with water from the previous days’ rain.
The Duarte Community Center at 1600 Huntington Drive will open as an evacuation center at 7 a.m., officials said. It will remain open as long as mandatory evacuation orders are in place.
City officials urged evacuees to take with them any medicines or other items they will need for a minimum of 48 hours. Meals will be provided at the evacuation center, and county animal control officials will also be on-hand to tend to evacuees’ pets.
“Please note, residents under mandatory evacuation orders will not be allowed back into their homes until the orders are officially lifted by Duarte public safety officials,” the statement said. “Residents that refuse to evacuate must be prepared to shelter in place until evacuation orders are lifted.
Residents of the Fish fire impact area can pick up filled sandbags at the corner of Brookridge and Opal Canyon roads. Unfilled sandbags are also available at Los Angeles County Fire Station 44, 1105 Highland Avenue.
“If you feel conditions are unsafe to evacuate, move to the highest safe place in your residence and shelter in place,” according to the statement.
Residents of the affected neighborhoods were also directed to remove all vehicles, trash bins or other obstructions from the street before evacuating, or they will be removed by authorities.
Updated information will be posted the city’s website, Twitter account and Nixle page, officials said. The sheriff’s Temple Station can be reached at 626-285-7171.
The Fish fire ignited in June and scorched more than 2,500 acres of vegetation before being extinguished by firefighters.

Fish fire impact area map courtesy of the city of Duarte.

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Two men wounded in Duarte shooting


DUARTE >> Deputies are seeking a gunman who shot and wounded to other men in a residential neighborhood in Duarte on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 2:50 p.m. at Crestfield Drive and Bloomdale Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Frank Ruiz said.
Both victims were described as men estimated to be in their 20s or 30s, according the lieutenant.
One suffered a gunshot wound to the buttocks, while the other was wounded in the back, he said.
Officials rushed both victims to a hospital via helicopter for treatment, officials said.
They were conscious at the scene, Ruiz said. An update on their conditions was not available.
A detailed description of the shooter, who was believed to have fled the area on foot, was not known.
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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Mud flow prompts school closure in Duarte


DUARTE >> Valley View Elementary School students got a day off Friday after heavy overnight rains sent mud gushing onto Melcanyon Road in front of the campus in Duarte.
Duarte Unified School District officials announced via social media that the campus in the 200 block of Melcanyon Road would be closed for the day due to the weather.
Melcanyon Road remained closed Friday morning as city crews worked to clear the mud, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. J. Serpa said. Despite the mess, no damage had been reported.
It was unclear when the affected street would reopen.

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Attacker sought after woman fights off would-be kidnapper while jogging in Duarte


DUARTE >> Detectives are seeking a man who tried to kidnap a woman as she was jogging in Duarte over the weekend, authorities said.
The woman managed to fight off her attacker and escape following the assault, which took place about 7:30 a.m. on Sunday along a running trail near Royal Oaks Drive and Oak Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
A woman in her mid-50s, was jogging on the trail, as she often does, when the would-be kidnapper approached and suddenly grabbed her, Lt. Tom McNeil said.
She managed to fight off the man as he began to drag her away, he said. The victim suffered minor injuries but declined to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
The suspect was last seen driving off in a tan, four-door sedan, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. He was described as about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 160 pounds, wearing all-black clothing. No weapons were seen during the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective N. Brenes of the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-292-3309, or via email at nbbrenes@lasd.org. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Search continues for Duarte man who vanished more than 2 months ago

1118_nws_psn-l-missingman

DUARTE >> Officials and worried family members have renewed their call for help in finding a Duarte man whose been missing for two-and-a-half months.
Rudolph “Rudy” Mejia, 58, was last seen about 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 as he left his home on Vineyard Avenue, Deputy Jeffrey Gordon of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Mejia was driving a 2015 Dodge Ram pickup truck that was found abandoned along San Gabriel Canyon Road in Azusa Canyon on Sept. 13, officials said.
“Mr. Mejia suffers from depression and cardiovascular complications,” Gordon said. “His family is very concerned and is asking for the public’s assistance.”
He’s described as white, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 230 pounds, with short brown hair and blue eyes. He’s missing his bottom front teeth and has a 3- to 4-inch scar on his left knee. He was last seen wearing a grey shirt and blue jeans.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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