Two men wounded in Duarte deputy-involved shooting

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Deputies shot and wounded two men, one of whom was allegedly armed, following a brief car chase early Sunday in a neighborhood near Duarte, authorities said.
Both suspects, described as a 24-year-old man and a 36-year-old man, were expected to survive the injuries suffered in the 1:20 a.m. shooting at El Toro Road and Van Meter Street, in an unincorporated county area just outside of Duarte, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The incident began when sheriff’s gang detectives, who have increased their presence in the area in recent weeks in response to a spate of shootings spotted a man with a gun at Ivory Drive and Galen Street at the south end of Duarte, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
1230_NWS_PSN-L-DUARTEDIS2The man got into a nearby car, which drove away, officials said. The detectives began chasing the car.
“The pursuit, which lasted for approximately 30 seconds, ended when the vehicle collided with a curb at the 2400 block of El Toro Road (in an unincorporated county area),” according to Lt. Dave Dolson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
“One of two Suspects Brandished a firearm, which resulted in a deputy-involved shooting,” Dolson said.
No deputies were hurt, said. “A weapon believed to be the suspect’s was recovered at the scene.”
Further details, including the identities of the suspects, the number of deputies involved in the shooting or the number of shots fired were not released Sunday.
1230_NWS_PSN-L-DUARTEDIS3A black Nissan Altima at the scene was riddled with more than two-dozen bullet holes. A dozen bullet holes were visible in the car’s rear windshield, and more than a dozen more dotted the driver-side of the car, with at least four through the driver-side window.
Neighbor Roger Villarreal, 29, said he was awakened by gunfire. He and other neighbors described hearing “more than 25” shots.
He said he dropped to the floor and pulled his fiancee to the floor as well as the shots continued ringing out.
“I heard commands after the gunfire,” he said. Deputies shouted at the men inside the car to exit the vehicle and show their hands.
One deputy yelled, “Where’s the (expletive) gun?” Villarreal said.
The driver crawled out of the car before being dragged and handcuffed by deputies, he said. He did not see whether the second man exited the car following the shooting.
Villarreal and his brother, Robert Villareal, 31, both said they saw deputies remove what appeared to be an automatic machine pistol, resembling a MAC-10, from the suspects’ car.
Rovert Villarreal added he was thankful no innocent bystanders were injured with so many bullets flying in the residential neighborhood.
The investigation was being spearheaded by detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, and anyone with information can reach the bureau at 323-890-5500.

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Fundraiser planned in Duarte to help family of slain young father

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DUARTE — A restaurant where an 18-year-old father had just finished his shift before being fatally gunned down Sunday is planning a fundraiser next month to benefit his family.
Twenty percent of all proceeds from sales Jan. 4 at Sonic Drive-In, 1070 E. Huntington Drive, will be given to the family of Malcom Mency, who was shot to death just after midnight as he was walking home less than a mile away after working the night shift at the eatery, according to family members and Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators.
No description of Mency’s killer or killers was known, nor was an official motive. Many in the neighborhood said they suspected Mency got caught in the middle of gang violence.
He is survived by an infant son.
In addition to next month’s fundraiser at Sonic, an online fund has been established to aid the family with the cost of Mency’s services.

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Man wounded in Duarte shooting

DUARTE — A man was wounded, but expected to survive, following a shooting Sunday afternoon in Duarte, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 3 p.m. at Mt. Olive Drive and Bloomdale Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Martinez said.
The victim, a Latino man estimated to be in his early-30s, suffered a gunshot wound to the side of his torso but had stable vital signs and was conscious as he was being treated by paramedics, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Dave Morse said. He was taken to a trauma center for treatment.
Martinez said he could not immediately confirm initial reports from the scene that the shooter was black man wearing Denver Broncos baseball cap who fled the area in an older-model Cadillac sedan.
The shooting was being investigated by deputies from the sheriff’s Temple Station.
The shooting was the second reported in the area Sunday.
A young man identified by family members as 18-year-old Malcolm Mency was fatally shot at the corner of Broderick and Felberg avenues in a neighboring unincorporated county area shortly after midnight as he was walking home from work at a nearby fast-food restaurant. No suspect description was available.
It was not clear Sunday afternoon if authorities suspected a link between the two shootings.

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Young father fatally shot while walking home from work near Duarte

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Detectives are seeking the killer or killers of an 18-year-old new father who was shot to death while walking home from work early Sunday in an unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte.
Coroner’s officials haven’t officially identify the shooting victim, however devastated family members and friends identified him as Malcolm Mency.
He lived just around the corner from Broderick and Felberg avenues, where he was fatally shot just after midnight, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and family members said. He was taken to an area hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.
No suspect description was available in the slaying, deputies from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement.
“Deputies from the Temple Sheriff’s Station responded to the location regarding a report of a person down. When deputies arrived, they found the victim on the ground, suffering from a gunshot wound.”
Family members said Mency had been shot five times, including once in the head. An autopsy had not yet been carried out.
Handling detectives could not be reached for comment Sunday.
1223_NWS_PSN-L-SHOOTING3The young father was looking forward to his first Christmas with his 3-week-old son, Malcolm Mency II, said his girlfriend and the baby’s mother, LeBreonna Moore. He had scheduled the next week off to spend time with his family.
He was walking home from his job at a nearby Sonic restaurant when he was shot, Moore said. She spoke with him on the phone just minutes before the shooting.
“He said he got off early,” Moore said. He added that he was walking home, and was almost there.
“Five or 10 minutes later, I heard gunshots,” she said. She soon learned it was Mency who had been shot.
Friends and family members gathered at the scene of the shooting Sunday to console one another and leave candles and flowers on the spot where Mency was shot.
Loved ones said Mency was not involved with gangs and had no enemies.
1223_NWS_PSN-L-SHOOTING2“He stayed out of trouble,” Moore said. “All he talked about was our baby.”
Sister Dalisa Kline said her brother grew up in the area and graduated Mt. Olive High School at age 16.
He then studied medical assisting at Everett College and was interning at a medical office in Industry, family members said.
“This is not right. My brother did not deserve this,” Kline said through tears.
Sheriff’s investigators released no officials motive in the killing, however the unincorporated county area where the shooting took place, known to some as “No Man’s Land,” has long been a battlefield for rival gangs that inhabit nearby neighborhoods.
Officials obtained an injunction in 2010 against two local street gang a portion of Monrovia and No Man’s Land following violence between feuding gangs that resulted in 65 shooting and eight homicides in 2007 and early-2008. Duarte officials did not join in the injunction.
A longtime neighborhood resident who asked that his name be withheld for fear of retaliation said he slept through the shooting and learned of it when he awoke Sunday morning.
“He was a good kid. He wasn’t a gang banger,” the neighbor said. “He was quiet. He stayed to himself. I just saw him and his girlfriend hanging.”
And although he said he was outraged by the teen’s slaying, he said he had feared violence was on the horizon since a massive piece of graffiti appeared on a wall along a wash only dozens of yards from the shooting scene.
The graffiti displayed the name of a local gang, along with the names of other local gangs crossed out in a sign of intentional disrespect.
“I knew this was going to start something,” he said of the spray-painted wall. “I saw that and I just shook my head.”
He said he believed Mency got caught in the middle of the gang dispute.
“They were just looking for someone to shot. Malcolm was just the first person they saw,” the neighbor said. “It’s crazy, these youngsters killing each other. And for what? And the innocent ones get killed.”

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Man wounded in Duarte shooting

DUARTE — A man suffered two gunshot wounds but was expected to survive following an early-morning shooting in a residential neighborhood in Duarte Sunday, officials said.
Deputies responded to a report of gunshots about 2 a.m. when they found a 22-year-old man wounded in the 900 block of Lewiston Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Iganacio Somoano said.
The man was taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena where he was being treated for injuries not believed to be life-threatening, the lieutenant said.
Two men were seen in the area at the time of the shooting, however deputies were still investigating whether they were involved, Somoano said. No shooter description was available.
The motive in the shooting was unclear, however there was no indication the wounded man had gang ties, he added.

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Bear visits Duarte elementary school, prompts brief lockdown

A bear paid a visit to an elementary school campus Wednesday, prompting a brief lockdown before hopping a fence and scampering away, authorities said.
Witnesses reported seeing a bear just before 9 a.m. on a field on the campus of Valley View Elementary School, 237 Melcanyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Sidra Strong said.
The school was placed on lockdown as officials responded to search for the four-legged intruder, she said.
But the bear was seen hopping a fence and leaving the campus, and sheriff’s helicopter confirmed form the air that it was gone, she said. The lockdown was lifted within 20 minutes or so.

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Car crash leads to radiation scare in Duarte


A car crash prompted triggered a radiation scare and a response from a hazardous materials crew, though the source of the radiation was ultimately determined to be a harmless took stored in once of the crashed vehicles, authorities said.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials responded en masse to a reported crash involving radioactive hazardous materials about 1:30 p.m. on Huntington Drive and Las Lomas Road. The crash involved a sedan, a minivan and a parked vehicle.
Rescuers who first responded to the crash found the driver of the sedan injured and unable to speak, fire Inspector Scott Miller said.
“Upon helping him out, we discovered a box that said “radioactive.”
Deputies and firefighters immediately backed away from the box and summoned a fire department hazmat crew, officials said.
Inspector Keith Mora said a “hot zone” was established within 300 feet of the vehicle, in which only officials wearing protective gear were permitted to enter.
A convenience store near the crash scene was evacuated, and employees of other nearby businesses were advised to stay inside as officials continued investigating.
The hazmat team arrived about 45 minutes after the crash, Miller said.
After examining the box, officials found it contained a device used to test for radioactivity, Miller said. In order to work, the device possesses a small amount of “background radiation,” itself, though it did rise to the level of a health concern.
“That’s an extremely low level,” Miller said.
The 31-year-old man who was driving the sedan that contained the mildly radioactive device, who was “incoherent” immediately following the crash, was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in unknown condition, sheriff’s Sgt. Loy McBride said.
The driver of the minivan was unhurt, and there was no one inside the parked car, Miller added.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by deputies from the sheriff’s Temple Station.

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UPDATED: Man accused of intentionally striking bicyclist with car in Monrovia, ramming good Samaritans who followed him from scene of alleged hit and run

A man struck two bicyclists — one of them intentionally — with his car in Monrovia early Saturday, as well as the car of two good Samaritans who followed him as he fled the scene, authorities said.
Anthony Pina, 19, of Glendora was booked on suspicion of drunken driving and felony hit-and-run following the nearly fatal chain of events that unfolded just before 6 a.m., according to Monrovia police and California Highway Patrol officials. Charges including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon were also expected to be sought against Pina.
He was behind the wheel of a Buick sedan that struck and badly injured a 63-year-old Duarte man who was riding a bicycle at Huntington Drive and Mountain Avenue, Monrovia police Lt. Jaime Alfaro said.
“The investigation indicated the hit and run was not an accident, but was an intentional act by Mr. Pina,” Alfaro said.
The injured bicyclist was initially hospitalized in critical condition, but stabilized after undergoing surgery, Lt. Michael Lee said.
Pina turned “donuts” around the bicyclist before driving directly into him, Alfaro said.
The victim told investigators Pina had also tried unsuccessfully to strike him with his car moments earlier at Mountain Avenue and Royal Oaks Drive, the lieutenant added. The men did not appear to know each other prior to Saturday’s encounter, and a motive in the alleged attack was unclear.
Officers soon learned that Pina’s 1997 Buick Regal matched the description of one that had struck and injured another bicyclist five to ten minutes earlier at Mountain and Shrode avenues in an unincorporated county area just outside Monrovia, CHP Sgt. Chris Hamilton said.
In that collision, Pina’s car struck a 46-year-old El Monte man, inflicting moderate injuries, the sergeant said. There was no indication that crash was intentional, however Pina allegedly fled the scene.
After the car struck the 63-year-old man, two men inside a brand new Mini Cooper saw who had seen what had happened followed Pina onto the eastbound 210 Freeway while calling authorities, officials said.
“At some point, Mr. Pina discovered he was being followed by a vehicle and pulled over,” Alfaro said. The Mini Cooper containing the good Samaritans drove past the Buick as they approached Vernon Avenue in Azusa.
“Pina then collided into their vehicle,” Alfaro said.
The Mini Cooper sustained only minor damage in the collision, and the two men inside were unhurt, Hamilton said.
Pina’s Buick then struck the center divider, causing it flip over, the sergeant said.
Pina got out of the damaged Buick and ran, Hamilton said, but was captured within minutes by an Azusa police officer.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Pina was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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19-year-old man shot in Duarte

DUARTE — Deputies are seeking two attackers who shot and wounded a 19-year-old man Sunday afternoon.
The shooting took place about 12:45 p.m. at Pamela Road and Broderick Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Ann Devane said.
But deputies did not learn of it until a short time later, when a family member of the wounded man brought him to Huntington Hospital in Arcadia, officials said.
He had suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the buttocks, Devane said.
The suspects were initially described as two male attackers in a red vehicle, she said.
A motive was unclear, and the investigation was ongoing.

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Bear bites dog in Duarte backyard

DUARTE — A pet pit bull-mastiff mix suffered a minor wound but was expected to be okay after a close encounter with a bear cub and it’s protective mother Sunday, authorities said.
The incident took place shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Mount Olive Drive, near Spinks Canyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Lynette O’Brien said.
A large bear and two cubs hopped a fence and made their way into a residential backyard occupied by two large dogs, Sgt. Ann Devane said. One was a pit bull-mastiff mix, and the other was a German shepherd.
The pit bull-mastiff mix went after one of the cubs, which did not please the cub’s mother, Devane said.
The mother bear bit the dog, inflicting only a superficial injury to the animals back, she added. The second dog was not injured.
Following the brief scuffle, the three bears made their way back into the wilderness.

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