Police: Shooting suspect found dead in El Monte home, victim critically injured

STANDOFF

EL MONTE >> A SWAT team stormed an El Monte home Friday afternoon where a shooting suspect was holed-up and discovered him dead of a gunshot wound.
El Monte Police stopped short of calling the death a suicide, but said the suspect, described as a man in his 50s, was believed to be alone in a room when shot. No additional suspects were being sought.
The suspect allegedly shot another man at 7:27 a.m. in the 11400 block of Elmcrest Street.
The victim, also a man in his 50s, was hospitalized at a trauma center in critical condition, according to El Monte Police Lt. Chris Williams.
Police provided no details of what prompted the shooting but had described the confrontation as a neighborhood dispute.
Williams said the incident began with a report of “shots fired” and a “person hit”.
“Initial information was that a subject was shot, and a suspect was seen going into a neighboring house,” he said.
Officers found a man at the scene suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, Williams said. It was not clear how many times the man had been shot.
Officers placed the wounded man into a police car and rushed him down the street to paramedics, who were standing by near the crime scene as police searched for the shooter.
Police ordered anyone inside the home where the suspect was seen entering to come out, Williams said.
Two people exited, but neither was the suspect.
“One person told officers they heard a single gunshot in the room where the suspect was,” Williams said.
The relationship between the witnesses and the suspect was not immediately available.
Believing the armed shooting suspect may be barricaded inside the home, police summoned a SWAT team to the scene.
Six homes in the area were evacuated and Frank Wright School at 11317 McGirk Ave. was placed on lockdown as a precaution, officials said.
For five hours, officials tried unsuccessfully to speak with the suspect, including tossing a telephone into the home shortly after noon.
“After all attempts at communication failed, (SWAT) officers entered the residence a little after 1:30 p.m.,” Williams said. They then discovered the suspect fatally shot.
Family members of the dead man gathered at the scene but declined to comment.
Neighbor Daniel Chou, 29, said he did not hear the shooting and first learned something was going on when police swarmed the neighborhood.
At 9 a.m., Chou said police told him to stay in his home. A half-hour later, they returned and told him it was time to evacuate.
The school lockdown was lifted shortly before 2 p.m., and evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes just after 2 p.m. as police continued investigating the shooting scene.

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Dinner and dance this weekend to benefit El Monte police K-9 program

EL MONTE — The community is invited to mingle with the El Monte Police Department’s four-legged officers and their handlers Saturday during the Soggy Dog Dinner and Dance to raise funds for the El Monte Police K-9 Association.
Dinner will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the El Monte Moose Lodge, 4249 N. Peck Road, followed by a dance from 8 p.m. to midnight, organizers said in a written statement.
Steak and chicken dinners will be served for $13, however the cutoff date to select a chicken dinner has passed.
The event will include raffles.
For more information, the lodge can be reached at 626-442-1025.

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Police plan checkpoints in El Monte, Pasadena

Police are planning checkpoints this month in El Monte and Pasadena.
El Monte police will conduct a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint from 6 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location within the city, El Monte police Officer Nick Stratis said in a written statement.
In Pasadena, police will screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses from 8 p.m. March 14 to 3 a.m. the following morning, police officials said.
Both checkpoints are being funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Rowland Heights man charged with fatal stabbing of El Monte man in La Puente

A Rowland Heights man was charged Tuesday with fatally stabbing another man whose body was found behind a La Puente business.
The District Attorney’s Office filed one count of murder against 27-year-old Andres Aguirre Garcia, according to DA spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
She said the charge comes with the allegation that the suspect personally used a knife to commit the crime.
Garcia’s arraignment was continued to March 11 at Pomona Superior Court.
The victim, 28-year-old Jose Chacon of El Monte, was found lying in a parking lot behind a business in the 15900 block of Old Valley Road in La Puente about 2:45 a.m. Feb. 12. He sustained multiple stab wounds to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lt. Steve Jauch of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said Garcia and Chacon were acquaintances. The two had a disagreement which resulted in the stabbing, he said.
But Jauch didn’t say what the disagreement was about or what led deputies to Garcia on Feb. 14. He was arrested that night.
“He confessed and he produced the knife,” Jauch said.
Booking records show Garcia is being held at Men’s Central Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

- Ruby Gonzales

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Parolee, passenger jailed after high-speed chase from West Covina to El Monte

A man and woman from El Monte were behind bars Saturday after leading West Covina police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car during which the driver rammed a police car, authorities said.
Driver and parolee William Paul East, 30, was booked on suspicion of auto theft, driving a stolen car, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and felony evading of police following the pursuit, which began about 11:10 p.m. Friday in West Covina before officers stopped it with a PIT maneuver in El Monte, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
His passenger, 32-year-old Jenny Anne Lao, was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, the lieutenant said.
East was being held without bail and was scheduled to appear in West Covina Superior Court Feb. 20, according to county booking records. He was already being sought for absconding from parole supervision when the chase took place, officials said.
Lao was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail and was scheduled to appear Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
The incident began when a man called police to report seeing his compact Toyota sedan, which had been stolen in El Monte, driving through West Covina, Patton said.
“He happened to come across his vehicle and notified West Covina police,” he said. It was not immediately clear when the car had been stolen.
The caller directed police toward where he had spotted his stolen car, and officers caught up with it in the area of Valinda Avenue and Maplegrove Street, on the western border of West Covina, Patton said.
“Officers proceeded to attempt to stop the vehicle, when the vehicle abruptly fled at a high rate of speed and a pursuit was initiated,” Patton said.
The fleeing car led officers along side streets before getting onto the westbound 10 Freeway, where it reached 105 mph, he said.
As the car exited at Peck Road, East lost control and the Toyota spun out, Patton said. Lao got out of the car and fled on foot, but was quickly apprehended. East continued fleeing in the car.
Police continued chasing the car south on Peck Road until it crashed into a car parked in a used car lot at Peck Road and Valley Boulevard, Patton said.
“After that impact with a parked vehicle at the auto dealership, the driver put the vehicle into reverse and intentionally rammed a police vehicle,” he said. The officer was not injured, and the damage appeared minor.
When East tried to continue driving, officers used a PIT maneuver to bring the chase to an end, according to Patton. East then surrendered.

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Small plane lands without nose wheel at El Monte Airport

EL MONTE — A pilot landed a small airplane safely at El Monte Airport without a nose wheel after it dropped of mid-flight and fell onto Pioneer Park, authorities said.
The pilot and a passenger walked away with no injuries following the unusual landing, which was reported about 11 a.m. at the airport, 4233 Santa Anita Ave., according to Federal Aviation Administration and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.
“The wheel reportedly fell off during flight and landed in Pioneer Park, about 1 mile southwest of the airport,” FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. “There are no reports of ground injuries or damage.”
The pilot was initially unaware the wheel of his front landing gear had fallen from his single-engine, four-seat Diamond DA40 airplane, officials said.
But witnesses reported seeing the part fall from the aircraft and land at the park and reported it to authorities while the air was still in the air., El Monte police Lt. Ben Lowry said. Officials were able to notify the pilot over the radio of the malfunction.
The plane continued on to El Monte Airport, where despite having no front wheel, “The pilot apparently did an excellent job landing,” Lowry said. The damage was described as minimal.
The pilot, a man estimated to be in his 40s or 50s, and his passenger, whose description was unavailable, both declined medical treatment, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Ray Rodriguez said.
According to FAA records, the 2006-model airplane is registered to Mile High LLC., which has an Arcadia home listed as an address.
The FAA is investigating the incident.

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Police plan checkpoint in El Monte

EL MONTE — Police are planning to hold a checkpoint this weekend to screen motorists for sobriety and valid drivers’ licenses.
The checkpoint is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday through 2 a.m. the following morning at an undisclosed location within the city, El Monte police officials said in a written statement.
Over the past three years, DUI drivers are blames for 66 injury crashes, harming 98 people, according to the police statement.
The checkpoint is being funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Man wounded in El Monte police shooting released from custody after serving time for probation violation

EL MONTE — An unarmed El Monte man shot and wounded by a police officer after allegedly reaching for his waistband early last month was released from jail earlier this week after serving a month in jail for a probation violation, according to officials and records.
Raymond Alvarado, 34, was released from custody Tuesday after one month in custody following the Dec. 6 officer-involved shooting in the 3500 block of Cogswell Road, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
He admitted a probation violation during a Jan. 6 hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court and was sentenced to 45 days in county jail, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said. Further details about the probation violation were not available Friday, and it was unclear if Alvarado was released based on credit for time already served in jail.
Police encountered Alvarado just before 4 a.m. Dec. 6 after responding to reports of a man seen armed with a gun, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Guillermina Saldana said in a written statement. Alvarado matched the description of the person described by the caller.
As officers approached him, Alvarado reached into his waistband, Lt. Dave Dolson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. One of several officers on scene opened fire, striking Alvarado an undisclosed number of times.
Alvarado was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries, Saldana said. No weapon as recovered at the scene.
The name of the involved officer was not released.
Public records indicate Alvarado lives around the corner from where the shooting took place. He could not be reached for comment Friday.
A search of Los Angeles County Superior Court records reveals an extensive criminal history.
Alvarado was convicted in 2010 of the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. In 2009, he was convicted of burglary, grand theft and receiving stolen property. Alvarado was convicted of drug possession in 2009 and domestic battery in May of 2007, records show.
Alvarado was convicted of violating a protective order in 2007. In 2006 six, he was convicted of violating a protective order, making criminal threats and violating a court order. He has two convictions for driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license in 2005, and another in 1999.

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Police checkpoints planned Saturday in Arcadia, El Monte

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY — Police are planning checkpoints in Arcadia and El Monte Saturday as authorities throughout the region continue an ongoing holiday season crackdown on intoxicated driving.
Arcadia police plan to hold a sobriety and drivers’ license checkpoint during the evening hours at an undisclosed location within the city, according to Arcadia police Traffic Sergeant Brett Bourgeous.
El Monte police are also planning a checkpoint from 6 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, El Monte police said in a written statement.
Funding for the checkpoints is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Updated: Fugitive arrested after standoff at El Monte home

EL MONTE — A wanted parolee holed-up inside an El Monte home for more than three hours before surrendering to U.S. Marshals and a sheriff’s SWAT team, authorities said.
Frankie Garcia, 23, was ultimately jailed on an arrest warrant stemming from an assault case in West Covina, as well as suspicion of violating his parole, said U.S. Marshals Chief Inspector Thomas Hession, who serves as Task Force Commander for the U.S. Marshals Los Angeles Regional Fugitive Task Force. Garcia was also described as a suspected affiliate of a local street gang.
The incident began about 1:30 p.m. in the 11600 block of Ferris Road, where Marshals descended on a back house to the rear of an apartment complex in search of Garcia, Hession said. “We attempted to make an arrest. He barricaded himself in a residence,” Hession said. The Marshals then summoned a SWAT team from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to help with the standoff, which continued for more than three hours.
But Garcia exited the home and surrendered about 5 p.m., Hession said. “He realized that the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau (SWAT team) was going to make entry.”
He was unarmed, and no other people were inside the home, he added.
Further details of the alleged assault in West Covina were not immediately available.

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