UPDATED: Montebello man killed, two others hurt in solo-vehicle crash

MONTEBELLO — A Montebello man died and two other were hurt when a pickup truck slammed into a parked vehicle along Garfield Avenue in Montebello early Sunday, authorities said.
David Geovanni Ibarra, 20, died at the scene of the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
The solo-vehicle crash involving a Chevy Silverado occurred about 1:25 a.m. on southbound Garfield Avenue at Madison Avenue, Montebello police Lt. Rick Rojas said.
The truck veered to the side of the road and struck another pickup truck, which was parked and unoccupied, the lieutenant said. The impact pushed the parked vehicle into a light pole.
“The collision was substantial and an adult male driver succumbed to his injuries,” Rojas said.
Two other men in the truck were hospitalized with injuries described as moderate, he said. They were estimated to be in their 20s.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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Man fatally shot while driving in Montebello identified

Coroner’s officials have released the name of a Perris man who was shot to death while driving through Montebello last week.
Justin Scott Verano, 38, died at the scene of Wednesday’s 4:40 p.m. shooting on Sycamore Street, near Montebello Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
He was driving west on Sycamore Street when he was shot by an unknown assailant near Cedar Street, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
His car continued for about three blocks before crashing into a stop sign and a utility pole at Spruce Street, where it came to rest, the Hernandez said.
An autopsy determined Verano died from a gunshot wound to the head, and the death was ruled a homicide, Corral said.
A second vehicle was seen in the area at the time of the shooting, however detectives were looking into whether it was related to the shooting. A description of the vehicle was not available.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man fatally shot while driving car in Montebello


MONTEBELLO >> A man died Wednesday afternoon after he was shot while driving a car in Montebello, authorities said.
The fatal shooting took place just after 4:40 p.m. on Sycamore Street at Spruce Street, Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said.
The victim was initially described as a man in his mid 20s, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The shooting victim was believed to have been wounded near Sycamore Street and Cedar Street before crashing his car into a utility pole several blocks to the west at Sycamore Street and Spruce Street.
“Neighbors heard two or three gunshots in the area of Sycamore and Cedar,” Hernandez said. “After hearing the gunshots they saw the victim’s vehicle, a red sedan, driving west on Sycamore Street somewhat eratically.”
The four-door sedan struck a stop sign at Spruce Street before coming to rest against a utility pole, Hernandez said. The victim appeared to have suffered both gunshot wounds and injuries from the crash.
The driver was the only person inside the car when police arrived, Hernandez said.
The motive in the slaying remained under investigation, officials said.
A second vehicle was seen in the area at the time of the shooting, however a description was not available and detectives were still looking into whether it was involved, Hernandez said.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Officials: No gun recovered from suspect wounded in DEA agent shooting in Montebello

MONTEBELLO >> Details slowly continued to emerge over the weekend after a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent shot and wounded an unarmed suspect as he fled from a Montebello home Friday afternoon.
DEA special agents were teamed with Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies when the shooting took place about 1:50 p.m. Friday behind a home in the 700 block of Carmelita Place, according to DEA and sheriff’s officials.
“The special agents were conducting a narcotics investigation and were in the process of contacting the occupants of a residence when several individuals ran out the back of the house,” Lt. John Corina of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said in a written statement.
“One suspect, a 35 year-old man, jumped a fence and ran through neighboring yards before encountering other DEA special agents who were positioned on the next street over,” Corina said. “At that point, an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
The suspect was struck once by gunfire and was taken to a hospital where he was expected to survive, Corina said.
“A gun was not recovered from the scene, but the investigation is ongoing,” the lieutenant said.
Sheriff’s officials withheld the suspect’s name, and it was unclear if he was to face any charges. No further details were released Sunday.
As in all Los Angeles County officer-involved shootings, a parallel investigation is also being carried out by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, officials said.

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Suspect shot by DEA agent in Montebello


MONTEBELLO >> A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent shot and wounded a suspect at a Montebello home Friday afternoon, authorities said.
Little information was initially released regarding the officer-involved shooting, which was reported at 1:47 p.m. in the 700 block of Carmelita Place, Deputy Amber Smith of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said.
No information regarding the condition of the suspect was released Friday evening. There were no initial reports of any injuries to law enforcement officers.
“A Drug Enforcement Administration agent was involved in a shooting at a residence in Montebello, California, during a joint narcotics enforcement operation with our local counterparts,” DEA Special Agent Vijay Rathi said.
The DEA agents were partnered with deputies from the sheriff’s Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Apprehension Crime Taskforce, also known as L.A. IMPACT
Rathi deferred all further comment to the sheriff’s department, which is spearheading the investigation.
Sheriff’s detectives routinely assist Montebello police in investigating officer-involved shootings in their jurisdiction.
Dozens of DEA, Montebello police and sheriff’s officials responded both to to the scene of the shooting at a beige, single-story home, and at a large command post set up around the corner at a Montebello Unified School District facility.
No further details were available.

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Firefighters make quick work of fire at Montebello condominium complex

MONTEBELLO — A fire tore through a condominium at a large Montebello complex Wednesday afternoon, but was extinguished by firefighters before it could spread to other units, authorities said.
The fire was reported at 1:53 p.m. in a second-floor unit of a two-story, multi-unit condominium complex in the 1600 block of Neil Armstrong Street, Verdugo Fire Communications Center Dispatch Supervisor Lynda Sims said.
The first firefighters on-scene declared a second-alarm and called for reenforcements, however they quickly got control of the flames, Sims said. Officials declared the fire “knocked down” at 2:12 p.m.
No injuries were reported to civilians or firefighters, Sims said. It was not immediately clear if the unit was occupied when the fire broke out.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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Officials to discuss gun safety, give out gun locks this weekend in Montebello

MONTEBELLO >> Police are inviting local families to a town hall meeting Saturday to discuss gun safety.
The Montebello Police Department and Project Child Safe are hosting the meeting at 9 a.m. at the Montebello Senior Center, 115 S. Taylor Avenue, Montebello police Capt. Luis Lopez said.
After a discussion on safe firearm storage, free gun locks will be provided at the Montebello Police Department, 1600 W. Beverly Blvd., officials said. McGruff the Crime Dog will be on-hand to meet with children.
For more information, visit www.projectchildsafe.org.

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UPDATED: Police investigate apparent suicide at Montebello retirement home

MONTEBELLO >> Police are investigating the death of a man found dead at the base of a building late Wednesday as a suicide, officials said.
Officials responded to the Golden Manor Retirement Center on Beverly Boulevard near Howard Avenue shortly at 7:12 p.m. after someone reported seeing a man fall from a second story window of the retirement home, Montebello police Lt. Mike Flores said.
Officials found the man lying in the parking lot of the bowling alley next door.
“The victim had injuries consistent with a high-altitude fall,” Flores said.
The death was being investigated as a suicide, and no foul play was initially suspected, he said.
The identity of the man was not available, Flores said, however he was believed to be a resident of the retirement home in his mid-60s.

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Officials: Fatal West Covina crash took place as suspects fled robbery; two men charged with murder

WEST COVINA >> Prosecutors filed charges of murder and robbery Tuesday against two men in connection with a fatal car crash police said took place as the suspects were fleeing the scene of a robbery.
Angel Andres Rojo, 24, of Covina and Jose Flavio Diaz, 24, of Montebello entered no pleas when they appeared at the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement. An arraignment hearing was set for April 9.
They’re each accused of one count of murder and one count of second-degree robbery in connection with an alleged series of events late Saturday that resulted in the death of Manuel Ernesto Rodriguez, 26, of Rowland Heights, according to investigators and coroner’s officials. Rodriguez was a passenger in a Dodge sedan that crashed into a tree while being driven by Diaz.
“Several men, including Diaz and Rojo, were partying at a West Covina apartment complex just before robbing a woman and fleeing the scene,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “The defendants drove away with their friend, Manuel Ernesto Rodriguez, and traveled at a high rate of speeds on city streets.”
Diaz lost control of the car along a curve where Hollenbeck Street becomes Casa Grande Drive, West Covina police officials said. The car struck a tree and overturned.
Rojo ran from the wrecked Dodge Intrepid but was quickly captured, officials said. Diaz, who suffered major injuries including a broken ankle, was taken into custody at the crash scene. Rodriguez died from his injuries at the scene.
Police determined Diaz was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
As officers were responding to the crash, police received a call notifying them of the robbery, which took place at an apartment complex near Azusa and Puente avenues, West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez said.
Detectives withheld details of the robbery as they continued seeking witnesses and clues, Lopez said. The woman who was allegedly robbed was not injured, and police recovered property believed to have been stolen during the robbery from the crashed Dodge.
Because officials allege Diaz and Rojo were in the process of committing a felony — robbery — when the fatal crash occurred, they are eligible to be charged with murder under a California law known as the felony murder rule, Lopez explained. The law allows that deaths resulting from the commission of felonies be charged as murder cases.
Rojo already has a 2013 conviction for assault likely to produce great bodily injury, district attorney’s officials said.
He was arrested Dec. 13 of last year and released from custody on probation Jan. 21, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Both men were being held in lieu of $1 million bail, records show. Diaz remained hospitalized due to his injuries Wednesday, While Rojo was being held at Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles.
If convicted as charged, both men could face maximum sentenced of life in prison.
Anyone with information regarding the fatal crash or the alleged robbery that preceded it was asked to contact West Covina police.

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Montebello police seek 3 fugitives in unrelated child molestation cases


MONTEBELLO — Montebello police sought the public’s help Wednesday in tracking down three longtime fugitives accused of child molestation in three unrelated cases.
All three men, former Montebello residents, have been identified as suspect in the molestations of young girls, Montebello police Detective Sgt. Julio Calleros said.
“Cases have been filed, and warrants have been obtained,” he said. “They know they’re being sought.”
But the suspects remain at-large, even after detectives have scoured the state in search of them, the sergeant said. “We’ve reached a dead end.”
So investigators Wednesday released their images to the public in hopes of generating tips.
Police have been seeking Paul Angel Candelas, 24, since 2011, when he allegedly molested the disabled, 6-year-old daughter of an acquaintance, Calleros said.
Candelas comes from a wealthy family and may be hiding out in the Inland Empire, the sergeant said.
Jose Luis Pineda, 44, is accused of molesting a 7-year-old female relative from 2011 to 2012, when the alleged crimes were discovered, Calleros said.
“(Pineda) possibly drives a gray Nissan Altima with tinted windows,” police said in a written statement. Before his disappeared, he was believed to work nights at the El Rodeo Night Club in Pico Rivera.
Hector Huerta, 30, has been sought by police since last year in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of a now-13-year-old family member between 2007 and 2013, Calleros said.
He is known to work as a mechanic for big rigs, and also as a big rig tire repair man, according to the police statement.
He has ties to Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and Texas, police said.
Pineda and Huerta are both believed to have ties to Mexico, police added.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Montebello Police Department at 323-887-1313. Anyone who spots one of the fugitives is encouraged to contact local police by calling 9-1-1.

PHOTOS of fugitives Paul Candelas, Jose Pineda and Hector Huerta courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.

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