POMONA >> Police seeking a missing rookie Los Angeles police officer who is being sought in connection with a fatal Pomona shooting found the officer’s car abandoned in Pomona on Sunday afternoon, officials said.
Investigators found a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta belonging to LAPD Officer Henry Solis, 27, of Pomona just before 1 p.m. at Main Street and Monterey Avenue, Pomona police Lt. Ron McDonald said.
The car was parked along the street several blocks north of the scene of Friday’s shooting, which took place about 3:30 a.m. at Main and Third streets, the lieutenant said. Police towed the car away so investigators could examine it in detail for evidence.
Police have described Solis as a “person of interest” in the shooting, which claimed the life of 23-year-old Salome Rodriguez Jr. of Ontario. But investigators have not labeled the LAPD officer a suspect in the slaying.
A gunman shot and killed Rodriguez during a fight, police said. Witnesses reported seeing a compact car fleeing the scene.
Further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were not released.
Solir, who joined the LAPD in June, was assigned to the LAPD’s Devonshire Division, LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera said.
Solis has not shown up to work since the shooting, officials said.
PHOTO of LAPD Officer Henry Solis courtesy of the Pomona Police Department.
HOLLYWOOD >> Police shot and killed a knife-wielding suspect at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue late Friday, officials said.
Few details were initially available regarding the officer-involved shooting, which took place about 7 p.m., Los Angeles police Officer Jane Kim said.
“Officers were responding to a radio call for an assault with a deadly weapon in progress,” Kim said. “Upon their arrival, they found the suspect was armed with a weapon. That’s when the officer-involved shooting occurred.”
The suspect was taken to an area hospital in critical condition and later succumbed to his injuries, Kim said. No officers were hurt in the incident.
No further details were available.
LOS ANGELES >> The fourth day of Los Angeles protests over developments in Ferguson, Missouri ended with six arrests, including one for battery on a peace officer, authorities said.
Two groups of several dozen protesters each took to the streets of Los Angeles Friday afternoon and evening, one marching through Los Angeles’ Westlake District, and the other marching in Downtown Los Angeles.
No arrests took place in Downtown Los Angeles Friday, however officers arrested six people near Alvarado Street and Beverly Boulevard, LAPD Officer Jane Kim said.
One person was arrested on suspicion of committing battery on a peace officer, Kim said. Further details of the incident that led to the arrest were not available.
Five others were arrested for failing to comply with lawful police orders, she said.
The groups demonstrating Friday were signiciantly smaller than those seen earlier in the week, during which police made more than 350 arrests.
SOUTH LOS ANGELES >> A young boy died after being struck by an ice cream truck late Wednesday, and bystanders attacked the driver at the scene, police said.
The collision took place about 7:15 p.m. in the 200 block of east 97th Street, near Wall Street, Los Angeles police Officer Muria Vanegas said.
“An ice cream truck struck the little boy, who was on a bicycle,” Vanegas said. “He was transported to a hospital in serious condition, and unfortunately, he passed away.”
The boy’s exact age was not available.
Neighbors at the scene assaulted the ice cream truck driver, who suffered apparently minor injuries, Vanegas said.
There were no initial signs of any crime on the part of the driver, she added.
Detectives from the LAPD’s South Traffic Division were handling the investigation.
SYLMAR >> A 3-year-old boy died Wednesday after climbing into a car at his family home in Sylmar and becoming overcome by the afternoon heat, police said.
The incident, which police were investigating as a “tragic accident,” was first reported about 3:30 p.m. at a home in the 14400 block of Foothill Boulevard, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Bruce Borihanh said.
“The boy was playing by himself in the front yard when he climbed into a car,” Borihanh said. The boy was apparently unable to get out of the car and became overcome by the heat, as the temperature in Sylmar soared into the mid-90s Wednesday afternoon.
It was unclear how long the boy had been inside the hot car before he was discovered there by his brother, Borihanh said. The distraught parents immediately summoned paramedics.
“The child was unresponsive when freed from the car and was declared dead at a hospital,” Borihanh said.
Foul play was not initially suspected, he said, and no arrests were made as the investigation continued.
The child was taken to Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounce dead a short time later, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Elissa Fleak said.
The child’s identity was not released Wednesday, as coroner’s officials were yet to recover the body from the hospital, she said.
The car was parked in a driveway in the residential neighborhood, officials said.
The death came just one day before a planned LAPD press conference to remind parents of the dangers hot vehicles can pose to children.
LOS ANGELES >> A 24-year-old USC engineering graduate student from China was found dead in his apartment after he was beaten while walking home from a study group early Thursday, police said.
LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said the student, identified by USC officials as electrical engineering student Xinran Ji, was attacked about 12:45 a.m. out on the street along 29th Street, near Orchard Avenue.
“The victim was somehow able to get back to his residence, where he was discovered this morning,” Neiman said.
A trail of blood was visible leading up the street and into the City Park Apartments in the 1200 block of 30th Street, where the young man lived. “It’s safe to assume it’s the student’s (blood trail),” Neiman said.
Ji was pronounced dead at the scene.
While a specific suspect description was not available, “we do have information that leads us to believe that at least three subjects were involved in this assault,” Neiman said. A dark-colored vehicle was also possibly connected to the crime.
“It’s believed a blunt force object was used. It’s not known what that object was,” Neiman said.
The motive in the attack was unknown. It was not clear if anything of Ji’s had been stolen.
He was apparently involved in a study group and had just walked home a friend,” Neiman said.
Two men who were fatally shot outside a Panorama City 7-Eleven on Thursday have been identified by coroners’ officials as police continued Sunday to hunt two suspects still at large.
The victims were identified as Maron States, 26, of La Puente and Miles DeShawn, 19, of Panorama City, said Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s Investigations Unit. The precise cause of death was still pending Sunday morning.
A third man, who was also standing outside the store, was shot in the leg and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, officials said.
A radio call went out at 5:55 a.m. Thursday of an assault with a deadly weapon and shots fired outside the 7-Eleven at 8243 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, said Sgt. S. Carlsen, a watch commander with LAPD’s Mission Station.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are squaring off in a boxing ring in Montebello with Los Angeles police officer tonight at 7 p.m. to raise money for the City of Hope in Duarte during the 20th Annual Fight for Life.
LOS ANGELES — An off-duty Los Angeles police officer accused of punching another man and breaking his jaw in an unprovoked attack at a Whittier house party has pleaded “no contest” to a misdemeanor charge, authorities said.
Under a negotiated plea agreement during a hearing Monday, Donald Albert Peko, 36, admitted a single count of disturbing the peace, while a count of felony battery was dismissed, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Horwitz immediately sentenced Peko to two years of summary probation, Robison said. He was further ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and obey a court order to stay away from the victim, then-23-year-old Christopher Price.
Prosecutors said Peko was attending a family party July 23, 2011, when he told the victim he could not leave the party with an open container of alcohol.
When Price began drinking to finish the bottle, Peko was accused of punching him “without warning,” breaking his jaw, D.A.’s officials said in a written statement.
After an investigation that lasted more than four months, prosecutors filed charges against Peko in December of 2012. Whittier police conducted the investigation.
Peko’s status with the LAPD was unclear Thursday.
“It’s a personnel matter,” CHP Officer Bruce Borihanh of the LAPD’s media relations section said. “We don’t discuss personnel matters.”
In general, he added, a police officer convicted of a crime is kept off of patrol duties until an administrative hearing is held to make a determination regarding employment.
NORTHRIDGE — A Canoga Park man and a Northridge woman died late Wednesday following a crash involving three vehicles and three pedestrians, authorities said.
The double-fatal crash took place about 8 p.m. at Tampa Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard, according to Officer Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division. She declined to give her first name.
Killed were Jasmine Dubon, 19, of Northridge, who was a pedestrian standing at the corner when she was struck by an out-of-control pickup truck, as well as the driver of the truck, identified by the LAPD as 24-year-old Pablo Castaneda of Canoga Park, LAPD officials said. Authorities initially described Dubon as a Rosemead resident.
Just prior to the collision, Castaneda was driving a 2007 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck “at a high rate of speed northbound on Tampa Avenue,” she said.
The truck collided with a Ford E-350 van being driven by an 88-year-old man who was making a left turn from southbound Tampa Avenue onto eastbound Roscoe Boulevard, Gonzales said.
“The Tacoma went out of control toward the northeast corner of the intersection,” the officer said. The truck struck three pedestrians, ranging in age from 19 to 20, where were standing on the sidewalk.
Second later, Gonzalez said, a Nissan Maxima came upon the scene of the crash and struck the disabled van, causing it to overturn.
Dubon and Castaneda were taken to an area hospital where they succumbed to their injuries a short time later, officials said.
The two other drivers and two other pedestrians injured in the collision were hospitalized with injuries ranging from moderate to serious, Gonzales said.
The cause of the crash was under investigation by officers from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division.
PHOTO by Gene Blevins/Special to the Los Angeles Daily News