EL MONTE — Police are looking for the two men in a compact car who shot an El Monte resident Friday night.
The shooting broke out in the 3700 block of Gilman Road at 9:59 p.m.
El Monte police Sgt. Michael Buckhannon said an El Monte man was standing outside when a vehicle carrying two men pulled up alongside him. There was a conversation between the suspects and the resident before they opened fire, according to the sergeant.
Buckhannon said the victim was shot once in the stomach.
The man was taken to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center where he underwent surgery.
The suspects were only described as two Latinos. Further details were not available.
- Ruby Gonzales
EL MONTE — A man was fighting for his life at a hospital Friday after he was found with severe burns to 80 percent of his body in what police were investigating as an automotive repair accident, authorities said.
The man was found at Fletcher Park, 3404 Fletcher Ave., shortly after 1:20 p.m. Thursday, El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said.
Based on witness statements and the initial investigation, police believe the man was working on a car at Pioneer Park, just a few hundred yards to the north, when he somehow caught fire, the lieutenant said. The burned man then rode a bicycle to Fletcher Park, where he was discovered.
Investigators suspected he made the bike ride while in a state of shock.
He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, Lt. Michael Buckhannon.
He remained listed in “very critical” condition Friday, Burlingham said. He remained unconscious, and police had not been able to get a statement from him.
The investigation by El Monte police and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials remained ongoing.
EL MONTE — Police seized 23 guns, including a fully automatic assault rifle, from an El Monte home while investigating a report of domestic violence Thursday, officials said.
Caminero Wang, 40, was booked on suspicion of domestic violence as authorities looked into his possession of the 12 handguns, 10 rifles and a shotgun, El Monte police Cpl. Aram Choe said.
Among the weapons was a fully automatic M-16 rifle, as well as a semi-automatic Chinese-made copy of an AK-47 rifle called a Mak-90.
Some of the handguns were registered to Wang, while others were not, Choe added.
Officers routinely confiscate weapons from homes while investigation allegations of domestic violence, the corporal said. An investigation into the source and legality of the guns was ongoing.
The woman victimized in the domestic violence incident had been kicked, Choe said, but required no hospitalization.
EL MONTE – Authorities believe an MTA bus hit twice by gunfire on Tuesday was not the intended target of the shooter or shooters.
El Monte police detained two men following the incident on Peck Road and Ramona Boulevard.
Detective Ken Fraser said the men were later released. He added that police are looking for one suspect and a beige vehicle.
The shooting happened at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday.
An MTA bus was heading north on Peck Road near Ramona Boulevard when it was hit by two stray bullets, according to El Monte police spokesman Cpl. Aram Choe in a statement.
One round hit the windshield while the other round struck one of the windows, he said.
Aram said a 12-year-old boy in the bus was hit by broken glass and complained of pain to his forehead. He was examined by paramedics.
Police received calls about shots fired at Peck Road and Ramona.
One of the passengers on the bus reported the shooting and told police she saw a beige vehicle speeding away from the area, Choe said.
According to the corporal, other callers said they saw the shooting and believe two other suspects ran from the scene.
Two men believed to be involved in the shooting were found and detained.
Detectives are still trying to determine who was the real target in the shooting.
There was no description released for the suspect still being sought.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the El Monte Police Department at 626-580-2100.
- Ruby Gonzales
EL MONTE — Officials found and removed a large graffiti message cursing the Los Angeles Police Department was believed to have been inspired by the recent manhunt for former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, authorities said.
The spray-painted graffiti was first reported about 10:30 a.m. on a wall surrounding a home in the 4800 block of Dyson Street, at Lower Azusa Road, El Monte police Cpl. Aram Choe said.
“The graffiti was approximately three feet tall, and it was critical of the Los Angeles Police Department,” the corporal said. He estimated the message was about 6 feet wide.
It read, “(expletive) LAPD,” officials said.
Investigators suspected the graffiti was scrawled by a “Dorner supporter” in response to the recent manhunt, and ultimate killing, of quadruple-murder suspect and ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, Choe said.
Dorner wrote in an online manifesto that he was engaging in a war against his former colleagues in law enforcement in retaliation for his termination from the LAPD in early 2009.
Before he was ultimately tracked to a cabin near Big Bear, where his body was found following a lengthy gun battle and massive fire, Dorner killed Cal State University Fullerton assistant basketball coach Monica Quan, 28, and her 27-year-old fiancee, Keith Lawrence, near their Irvine home, authorities said.
In the 10 days that followed, he went on to fatally shoot a Riverside police officer and a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy as law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California mobilized to hunt for Dorner, officials said. Another Riverside police officer and another San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy were seriously wounded by Dorner’s gunfire.
EL MONTE — A West Covina man led El Monte police on high-speed chase in a stolen car before being arrested Wednesday, authorities said.
Adam Jojola, 27, was booked on suspicion of auto theft and felony evading of police following the incident, El Monte police Cpl. Aram Choe said.
Police received a report about 9:40 a.m. that a silver, 1996 Honda Civic had been stolen from the 11900 block of Deana Street, the corporal said.
“One of our detectives who happened to be in the area spotted the vehicle about half an hour later, unoccupied, in the 11600 block of Sitka (Street),” Choe said. The car was parked along the street, about half a mile away from where it was reported stolen.
The detective waited for several minutes until a man — later identified as Jojola — got into the Honda and started driving, Choe said. The detective called backup from additional officers.
When officers tried to stop the Honda, the driver failed to pull over and, “fled at high-speed,” Choe said.
Officers backed off the chase due to safety concerns after the speeding and fleeing vehicle neared Parkview Elementary School, Choe said. They lost sight of the Honda.
“About 15 minutes later, a resident called and reported that a subject who matched the description of the suspect had abandoned a stolen vehicle in the 2600 block of Cogswell (Road),” according to the corporal.
Police set up a search perimeter in the neighborhood and soon found and arrested Jojola without a struggle, Choe said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Jojola was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the El Monte Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance.
EL MONTE — A 10-hour standoff with a suicidal man at an El Monte home came to an end Thursday after a SWAT team forced their way in and found him dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
The man, whose name was not available late Thursday, was initially described as 36 years old, El Monte police Sgt. Roger Cobian said.
The incident began shortly before 8 a.m. when family members of the men reported he was suicidal at a home in the 4500 block of La Madera Avenue, officials said.
Firefights arrived at the scene first, but backed off after learning from family members that the suicidal man may be armed with a handgun, Cobian said.
Shortly after officers arrived, they heard two gunshots from within the house, Lt. Dan Burlingham said. Officers did not see where the gunfire was directed.
Officers called for a SWAT team, which arrived at the scene about 8:30 a.m, Burlingham said.
In the minutes following the shooting, police received several 9-1-1 calls from within the home in which the caller immediately hung up, Burlingham said.
Knowing the suicidal man was the only person inside the home, he said, police took the calls as a sign that the suicidal person was still inside and alive.
Police learned the man they were seeking is a convicted felon who already had two strikes, as well as a $40,000 warrant for his arrest stemming from a narcotics case, Cobian said. His prior convictions included robbery and weapons violations.
Throughout the morning and afternoon, “We made numerous attempts to call and text his phones,” Cobian said.
Officials also used a robot to bring a phone into the home about 2:30 p.m. with no response, he added.
Cameras on the robot saw no one inside the home, but there were several closed doors which the robot could not peer into, Cobian said.
Worried family members of the man gathered outside yellow crime scene tape set up by police and anxiously waited for word on the outcome of the lengthy standoff. They did not wish to comment for this story.
As evening approached, SWAT team members began firing canisters of chemical irritant — more than a dozen — into the home in hopes of forcing the man out.
When that failed to produce results, SWAT team members made their way into the house about 6 p.m.
They discovered the body of the man inside a bedroom, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Family members broke into tears and consoled each other upon receiving the news.
Homes surrounding the SWAT operation were evacuated as a precaution, Cobian said. Residents who were particularly close to the affected home were shuttled to safety via armored truck.
The nearby Community Day School was went a voluntary lockdown as a precaution, but dismissed students at the normal time, officials said.
EL MONTE — A SWAT team has arrived at a home in El Monte after officers responding to reports of a man acting suspiciously were greeted with gunfire, authorities said.
No injuries were reported in the shooting, which took place shortly after 8 a.m. in the 4500 block of La Madera Avenue, El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said.
Family members of the suspect, initially described only as a man, called police to report he was acting suspiciously, the lieutenant said.
Shortly after arriving, two gunshots were fired from inside the home, Burlingham said.
Officials called for a SWAT team, which arrived at the scene about 8:30 a.m.
The suspect was believed to be the only person inside the home, Burlingham said. After the shots were fired, police received several 9-1-1 calls from the home in which the caller immediately hung up.
EL MONTE — Two masked gunmen fled with an estimated $175,000 worth of gold jewelry after robbing a local shop Thursday.
El Monte Police Sgt. Michael Buckhannon said no one was injured in the 5:48 p.m. robbery at 10933 Valley Mall.
Two men wearing masks, dressed in dark clothing and carrying handguns entered one of the kiosks, according to Buckhannon.
They said something to the employee. There was a language barrier, police said.
When the woman was unable to respond to their demands, Buckhannon said the two suspects smashed the glass display case.
It wasn’t clear if the robber used the guns or something else to break the display case.
The employee had taken cover behind the counter, he said.
After the robbery, a dark-colored vehicle was spotted leaving. It was last seen heading westbound on Valley Boulevard.
- Ruby Gonzales
EAST LOS ANGELES — An 26-year-old El Monte man died early Sunday in a solo-car crash on a a freeway transition road in East Los Angeles, authorities said.
Francisco Garcia-Mendoza died at the scene of the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Kelsie Weber said.
The crash occurred about 3:05 a.m. on the connector road linking the northbound Long Beach (710) Freeway to the eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway, officials said. The driver was at the wheel of a 1994 Acura, according to California Highway Patrol officials.
“For unknown reasons, (the driver) veered to the left causing (the Acura) to collide with the raised concrete curb,” CHP officials said in a written statement.
The car left the roadway and overturned as it fell down an embankment, ultimately tumbling across all eastbound lanes of the 60 Freeway and coming to rest within the center divider, officials said.
Though he was wearing a seat belt, the driver was thrown from his the car and landed in traffic lanes of the eastbound 60 Freeway, the CHP statement said.
The cause of the crash was under investigation by the CHP’s East Los Angeles office.