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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Man seriously hurt in Duarte crash

DUARTE — A man suffered major injuries in a solo-car crash on the 210 Freeway early Saturday, authorities said.
The crash was first reported at 8:09 a.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway, just west of the 605 Freeway, California Highway Patrol Officer Ed Jacobs said.
A car smashed into the center divider, leaving the 63-year-old driver, “unconscious and bleeding profusely,” the officer said.
He was taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for treatment, Jacobs said. An update on his condition was not available.
Officials shut down the two right lanes of the westbound 210 Freeway during the rescue effort and investigation, he said.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by officers from the CHP’s Baldwin Park office, Jacobs added.

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Suspect jailed following string of baseball bat robberies at San Gabriel Valley convenience stores

Deputies arrested a man Thursday following a series of five baseball bat robberies at San Gabriel Valley convenience stores in matter of hours, authorities said.
Malcom Buchanan, 19, of Duarte was booked in connection with the final robbery in Thursday’s spree at a gas station in unincorporated East Pasadena as officials continued investigating him in connection with the other four robberies, police and sheriff’s officials said.
While a concrete link had not been established Thursday afternoon, ““They’re definitely looking into it,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ignacio Somoano said.
The string of robberies began shortly after midnight at a 7-Eleven store in San Dimas, investigators said. Similar robberies and attempted robberies were then reported in West Covina, Monrovia, Arcadia and unincorporated Pasadena before deputies spotted a car matching the description of one used in at least one of the robberies was spotted, stopped and arrested by deputies from the sheriff’s Temple Station in Duarte, sheriff’s Sgt. Lynette O’Brien said.
Sgt. Pete Shupe of the sheriff’s San Dimas station said masked robber entered the 7-Eleven at 660 E. Foothill Blvd. at 12:11 a.m.
He found a clerk working in a back stockroom, Lt. Andy Berg said.
The bat-wielding robber ordered the clerk to the front of the store and demanded cash from the register, officials said.
When the clerk opened the register, he said the robber reached in, took $200 and fled the store.
About half an hour later, a masked man lugging a baseball bat then showed up at the 7-Eleven at 1319 W. Merced Ave. in West Covina around 12:42 a.m.
“He told the clerk ‘Give me the money’ while holding the bat threateningly,” West Covina Police Lt. David Lee said.
The robber grabbed about $350 from the till and left.
Lee said the suspect was last seen in a white vehicle, possibly a van or a sport utility vehicle. A second suspect was driving the vehicle.
The robber was described as possibly Latino, around 5 feet 5 inches tall and about 150 pounds.
In the San Dimas case, the robber wore a gray jacket, officials said.
Initial investigation indicated the same robber was involved in both crimes, Berg said.
Nearly 11 hours passed before three more incidents of convenience store robberies involving a suspect armed with a baseball bat were reported.
Monrovia police responded to a report of a similar robbery about 11:25 a.m. at 7-Eleven, 922 W. Duarte Road, officials said. Again, the robber brandished a baseball bat during the crime.
A witness to the Monrovia crime was able to provide police with a description and license plate of the getaway car, which was immediately broadcast to nearby law enforcement agencies.
Another attempted heist involving a baseball bat wielding suspect occurred minutes later at a liquor store in the 800 block of West Huntington Drive in Arcadia, Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen said.
It was unclear what caused him to abandon the robbery attempt and flee empty-handed.
Minutes after the Arcadia crime, a man with a baseball bat arrived at a gas station at Colorado Boulevard and Michillinda Avenue in an unincorporated county area east of Pasadena, O’Brien said.
A witness provided investigators with the license plate number of the getaway car, and deputies spotted the vehicle
Deputies searching the area spotted the vehicle and pulled it over on Bashor Street near Vineyard Avenue in Duarte about noon.
There was no description of a second robber who may have partnered with the suspect in at least some of the alleged crimes.
The robbery in San Dimas capped off a particularly unfortunate month for the convenience store.
It was the third incident at the store in recent weeks, which has also experienced another robbery, as well as a car crashing through the front window, officials said. The same clerk was working during all three incidents.
A man brandished a pistol in a robbery at the store on May 14, Berg said. He was described as black, 25 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 160 pounds, investigators said. He wore a dark green hooded sweatshirt and black pants.
A car Sunday smashed through the front window of the Foothill Boulevard convenience store, officials said.
No crime was suspected in connection with the crash, in which a 50-year-old San Dimas man’s 1990 Honda Accord struck the store after his foot slipped off the brake pedal and onto the accelerator, Sgt. Victor Ibarra said.

- Staff writers Ruby Gonzales and Melissa Pinion-Whit contributed to this report.

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Bear breaks into Duarte home

DUARTE – A young bear may have used a window to crawl into a kitchen where it grabbed a snack Wednesday.
The break-in happened about 2 p.m. in the 70 block of Crestview Court. A resident was home.
“The lady heard a noise and saw a bear had made it into her house,” Sheriff’s Lt. Ignacio Somoano said.
He said the woman locked herself in a room and called 9-1-1.
A deputy and a Duarte Animal Control officer headed to Crestview Court. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife was also notified.
The law found the furry burglar on the kitchen counter still eating.
Somoano said the deputy left the door open. Then the deputy and the animal control officer made loud noises. The bear ran out through the door.
Authorities estimate the bear to be a year old and weighing 100 pounds.
Somoano didn’t know if this hungry bear was the same bruin found sleeping in a tree Tuesday night by deputies.

- Ruby Gonzales

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