Suspect wounded in Duarte deputy-involved shooting charged in court

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An alleged gang member wounded in a deputy-involved shooting near Duarte is out of the hospital and awaiting trial on charges of attacking deputies with an automatic assault pistol, authorities said Friday.
Andre Masayuki Goto, 34, is scheduled to appear Jan. 16 in Alhambra Superior Court for a preliminary hearing setting in connection with the Dec. 29 early-morning incident, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said.
He pleaded not guilty Dec. 31 to four counts of assault on a peace officer with an assault weapon, and two counts of assault on a peace officer, she said.
According to court documents, Goto is also accused of the special allegation that the crimes were gang-related, and that he has a previous conviction for assault with a firearm.
“His maximum (sentence), should he be convicted as charged, is 107 years in state prison,” Davila-Morales said. “Bail was set at $890,000.”
The encounter began just before 1:20 a.m as a short car chase of a man spotted with a gun and came to a violent conclusion in the 2400 block of El Toro Road in an unincorporated county area near Duarte, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
At the end of the brief chase, Goto is accused of ramming a sheriff’s patrol car, then pointing a loaded, automatic machine pistol resembling a MAC-10 at deputies, said Lt. Dave Dolson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said, which routinely investigated deputy-involved shootings. The suspect fired no shots.
The weapon was recovered at the scene, according to officials and witnesses.
Deputies fired on the Nissan Altima Goto and a passenger were in, striking both men, officials said. It was not clear Friday how many deputies fired their weapons during the incident, however a total of four deputies were listed as victims of Goto’s alleged assaults in court documents.
DUARTEDIS2Goto and the wounded passenger, a 36-year-old man who was ultimately released without charges “pending further investigation,” were both hospitalized following the shooting, Dolson said.
Goto has a listed address in Covina, but is believed to belong to a Duarte-area street gang, Dolson said. He declined to specify which gang.
Gang investigators were conducting extra patrols in the area in response to recent shootings, including two homicides, in the week leading up to the deputy-involved shooting.

Two men wounded in Duarte deputy-involved shooting

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Deputies shot and wounded two men, one of whom was allegedly armed, following a brief car chase early Sunday in a neighborhood near Duarte, authorities said.
Both suspects, described as a 24-year-old man and a 36-year-old man, were expected to survive the injuries suffered in the 1:20 a.m. shooting at El Toro Road and Van Meter Street, in an unincorporated county area just outside of Duarte, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The incident began when sheriff’s gang detectives, who have increased their presence in the area in recent weeks in response to a spate of shootings spotted a man with a gun at Ivory Drive and Galen Street at the south end of Duarte, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
1230_NWS_PSN-L-DUARTEDIS2The man got into a nearby car, which drove away, officials said. The detectives began chasing the car.
“The pursuit, which lasted for approximately 30 seconds, ended when the vehicle collided with a curb at the 2400 block of El Toro Road (in an unincorporated county area),” according to Lt. Dave Dolson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
“One of two Suspects Brandished a firearm, which resulted in a deputy-involved shooting,” Dolson said.
No deputies were hurt, said. “A weapon believed to be the suspect’s was recovered at the scene.”
Further details, including the identities of the suspects, the number of deputies involved in the shooting or the number of shots fired were not released Sunday.
1230_NWS_PSN-L-DUARTEDIS3A black Nissan Altima at the scene was riddled with more than two-dozen bullet holes. A dozen bullet holes were visible in the car’s rear windshield, and more than a dozen more dotted the driver-side of the car, with at least four through the driver-side window.
Neighbor Roger Villarreal, 29, said he was awakened by gunfire. He and other neighbors described hearing “more than 25” shots.
He said he dropped to the floor and pulled his fiancee to the floor as well as the shots continued ringing out.
“I heard commands after the gunfire,” he said. Deputies shouted at the men inside the car to exit the vehicle and show their hands.
One deputy yelled, “Where’s the (expletive) gun?” Villarreal said.
The driver crawled out of the car before being dragged and handcuffed by deputies, he said. He did not see whether the second man exited the car following the shooting.
Villarreal and his brother, Robert Villareal, 31, both said they saw deputies remove what appeared to be an automatic machine pistol, resembling a MAC-10, from the suspects’ car.
Rovert Villarreal added he was thankful no innocent bystanders were injured with so many bullets flying in the residential neighborhood.
The investigation was being spearheaded by detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, and anyone with information can reach the bureau at 323-890-5500.

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Man wounded in El Monte officer-involved shooting

EL MONTE — Police shot and wounded an unarmed man early Friday who was earlier seen running and screaming in the street, according to officials and witnesses.
The shooting was reported at 3:57 a.m. in the 3500 block of Cogswell Road.
El Monte Police referred all calls to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials who are handling the investigation.
“Officers with the El Monte Police Department responded to a man with a gun call,” Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement issued Friday evening.
“When the officers arrived at the location, they saw a man that fit the description of the person described in the call,” she said. “As the officers contacted him, the suspect reached into his waistband and an officer-involved shooting occurred.
No weapon was found at the scene, Saldana said.
The wounded man, described by investigators as 34-years-old, was taken to a hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
The name of the wounded man was not released, nor were the identities of the involved officers.
Authorities Friday made no mention of potential criminal charges against the wounded man.
No officers were injured in the incident, officials said. Authorities did not say how many officers were involved in the shooting or how many shots were fired.
Neighbor Henry Ballesteros said his stepdaughter heard a commotion early that morning and called 9-1-1.
“My stepdaughter went to the porch, saw the guy running and screaming,” he said.
He pointed toward Ferris and Cosgwell roads where there is a stop sign. Ballesteros said the man started there then ran down Cogswell Road.
“He woke up people living there. A lot of people called 9-1-1. That’s how much noise he was making,” Ballesteros said.
Ballesteros said the man was seen running around the car port area of a blue apartment complex. One of the neighborhood kids told Ballesteros the man was seen earlier arguing with someone in a car.The man was heard addressing someone inside the car as Richard.
“My stepdaughter didn’t see anybody in the car,” Ballesteros said. The residents thought the man was either drunk or on drugs, he added.
The gunshots woke up several residents.
Ana Bustamante thought Fourth of July when she heard the sounds. From her door, she saw a lot of police and a man lying on the street.
“I saw the man right there,” Bustamante said and pointed to a spot on Cogswell Road where several blood stains were visible. “He said,’I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!’”
She didn’t recognize him.
Lou Jaramillo who lives at Ferris and Cogswell roads said he heard three gunshots.
“I’m a light sleeper. When I heard the first pop, my eyes opened up. I called my sister who lives in the house in front of me who said someone got shot,” Jaramillo said.
He hasn’t heard of a shooting in the neighborhood in the four years he’s lived there.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tipsters may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or text “TIPLA” plus the tip to 274637, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

UPDATE: Fatal officer-involved shooting reported in Azusa

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AZUSA — Police shot and killed a man late Friday after he allegedly confronted officers with a handgun, authorities said.
Lorenzo Cesar Aguilar, 23, of Azusa died in the officer-involved shooting, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
The shooting took place shortly before 9:30 p.m. along Rockvale Avenue near Fifth Street.
But the incident began minutes earlier when an Azusa police officer tried to pull over a suspected drunken driver in the 700 block of East Alosta Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The driver neglected to yield and evaded officers for a short time,” according to the statement.
The driver — later identified at Aguilar — ultimately stopped the car, got out and began walking away from officers with a gun in his hand, officials said.
“As assisting units arrived, the suspect failed to comply with orders and turned toward officers with the handgun in his hand, at which time an officer-involved shooting occurred,” according to the sheriff’s statement. “The suspect was struck by gunfire several times in the torso area.”
It was unclear how many officers fired, or how many times.
Paramedics pronounced Aguilar dead at the scene, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.
A search of Los Angeles County Superior Court records turned up no criminal history on the part of Aguilar.
No officers were hurt in the incident, authorities added.
1130_NWS_SGT-L-AZOIS2Police cordoned off a wide crime scene, which included the parking lot of the nearby Santana’s restaurant.
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were handling the investigation, as is common practice when dealing with officer-involved shootings in the county. Azusa police deferred comment to the sheriff’s department.
No further details were available.

Officials: Man shot to death by deputy while stabbing aunt in Rosemead identified

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ROSEMEAD — Authorities Saturday released the name of a Rosemead man shot to death by a sheriff’s deputy while in officials said he was in the midst of a knife attack on his aunt.
Paul Aguilar, 21, died in Friday evening’s deputy-involved shooting in the 2400 block of Earle Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
His aunt, whose name was not released, was hospitalized in serious condition with injuries including stab wounds to her throat and back, but was expected to survive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies first responded to the family’s home about 6:10 p.m. reporting that Aguilar was drunk and causing problems, Sheriff Lee Baca said Friday. But the deputies and family members determined the family could resolve the situation themselves and the deputies left.
The deputies remained at a nearby street corner when the sheriff’s Temple Station received a second call from the home requesting help with the drunken man, Baca said.
“While deputies were talking to family members, they heard a female yelling from the rear of the location,” sheriff’s officials said early Saturday in a written statement. “Shortly thereafter, they saw a female adult with a stab wound to her neck walk toward them from a side driveway. The deputies then saw a male walk from the rear of the driveway and attempt to once again, stab the female victim. This resulted in the Deputy-Involved shooting.”
After one deputy tried unsuccessfully to shock Aguilar with a Taser, another deputy fired a single gunshot, which struck Aguilar in the chest, Baca said. He immediately ceased his attack and fell to the ground.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene at 6:30 p.m., Dietz said.
The knife allegedly wielded by Aguilar was recovered, sheriff’s officials added.
A small memorial of candles and Rosaries stood Saturday on the driveway where Aguilar died. A teary-eyed woman who identified herself as Aguilar’s grandmother said she did not wish to comment regarding the deputy-involved shooting.
The woman injured during the incident had been released from the hospital and was doing well, family members said.
Aguilar has no criminal history listed in Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
The investigation is being spearheaded by detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, with concurrent investigations underway by the Los Angeles COunty District Attorney’s Office and the County of Los Angeles Office of Independent Review.

PHOTO of memorial at scene of deputy-involved shooting on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013.

UPDATED: Officials: Deputy fatally shoots man during knife attack on woman in Rosemead


ROSEMEAD — A sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man Friday as he was stabbing a woman with a knife outside the family home in Rosemead, authorities said.
The name of the dead man was not available, however sheriff’s officials initially described him as 21 years old.
The woman suffered multiple stab wounds, including a slashed throat, but was expected to survive her injuries, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.
Deputies first responded to a report of a family disturbance about 6:10 p.m. at the home in the 2400 block of Earle Avenue, just north of Klingerman Street, the sheriff said.
“A young man, 21 years of age, was drunk and causing a lot of havoc there in the home,” Baca said.
Ultimately, deputies and the family agreed that the situation could be handled within the family.
“The family was around him. They wanted him to just go back inside the house and sleep it off,” the sheriff said. “So it looked like it was all handled properly at that point, and deputies elected to give the family control of the situation.”
Deputies left the home but remained just up the street at Earle Avenue and Klingerman Street, officials said. They were still there when officials received a second call from the home about 20 minutes later.
“The young man was acting violently, had a knife in his hand and was stabbing a young woman,” Baca said. “And as he was chasing her out of the yard, the driveway, he was stabbing her in the back. He had already stabbed her in the throat.
“Deputies fired one Taser shot at him. That didn’t work. The second deputy fired one shot that hit the suspect in the chest, The suspect fell to the ground, and moments later was deceased.”
Sheriff’s radio traffic from the scene immediately following the shooting indicated the suspect was “down,” and was, “no longer a threat.”
Paramedics pronounced a patient with a gunshot wound dead at the scene, fire Dispatch Supervisor Kyle Sanford said. The stabbing victim was rushed to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
The woman’s injuries were serious and she was bleeding profusely from her neck, Baca said.
“She seems to be in a position where her life is not in peril,” he said. “But she would have been killed undoubtedly had this young man continued (the attack).”
The relationship between the dead suspect and the victim was not clear Friday night, nor was the wounded woman’s age.
No deputies were injured in the incident, deputies from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said.
Several neighbors said they never heard the gunshot.
Deputies cordoned off the area and set up a command post south of the shooting scene as they investigated the incident. Residents of the street were escorted to their homes by deputies as the investigation unfolded.
As is standard procedure in deputy-involved shootings involving Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, detectives from the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau were summoned to handle the investigation, officials said. Simultaneous investigations were also underway by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the County of Los Angeles Office of Independent Review.

Man sentenced for weapons charges in connection with non-hit Pasadena police officer-involved shooting

PASADENA — An 18-year-old Los Angeles man received 1-year jail sentence this week after admitting carrying a concealed handgun and brandishing it at a police officer who was pursuing him in July.
An officer fired a shot at Tyshawn Goodman during the July incident in the 1400 block of Garfield Avenue, Pasadena police officials said at the time. The suspect was not struck by the gunfire, though he was treated for a shoulder injury he suffered while running from police through an apartment complex.
He was originally charged with assault on a peace officer with a firearm and felony possession of a concealed handgun, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said.
At a hearing Monday in Pasadena Superior Court, Goodman pleaded “no contest” to one felony count of possessing a concealed firearm and a misdemeanor count of exhibiting or drawing a firearm, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said.
He was immediately sentenced to 365 days in jail, along with three years of probation, Davila-Morales said. He was given credit for 230 days of that sentence — 115 days for actual time served, and another 115 days for good behavior.
Officers encountered Goodman about 9:30 p.m. July 13 as they responded to a report of a fight, Pasadena police officials said at the time.
As officers arrived, a witness indicated a man — later identified as Goodman — had just run off and was armed with a handgun, police said.
As an officer chased Goodman through an apartment complex, he raised a handgun, and an officer fired a single shot.
Goodman, who was not struck by the gunfire, dropped his gun and jumped through an apartment window, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said. He was soon apprehended in the area.
No police or officers were injured in the incident, officials said.

UPDATED: Off-duty La Habra police officer shot with own gun following Castaic car crash

CASTAIC — An off-duty La Habra was shot and wounded with his own gun early Saturday after becoming involved in a fight with another driver on the 5 Freeway in Castaic, authorities said.
The off-duty officer was found along the freeway near Templin Highway with a gunshot wound about 5:15 a.m. , Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Thomas Richards said. The officer was taken to a hospital in unknown condition.
“Detectives have learned that the off-duty La Habra police officer was involved in a traffic collision,” Sgt. Diane Hecht of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement. “Then he and the suspect (driver) became engaged in a physical altercation at which time the suspect shot the officer.”
The suspect used the officer’s own gun in the shooting, Hecht added. “The handgun has not been recovered.”
No description of the shooter or the shooter’s vehicle was released Saturday, the sergeant said.
La Habra police officials deferred comment to the sheriff’s department. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were spearheading the investigation.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Family awarded $2 million for fatal deputy-involved shooting of Azusa man in 2009

Efrain GutierrezLOS ANGELES — The family of a 31-year-old Azusa man fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy four years ago won a $2 million judgement this week in a wrongful death suit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Efrain Lara Gutierrez died at the scene of the shooting, which took place about 1 a.m. Oct. 2, 2009 near Renwick Road and Rockvale Avenue in an unincorporated county area just south of Azusa. He lived with his parents, Eva and Dionicio Gutierrez, at a nearby home.
“They feel like they obtained some justice on behalf of their son. It’s very emotional.” said Woodland Hills-based attorney Dale K. Galipo, who is representing the Gutierrez family.
The judgment came only two days before the fourth anniversary of Efrain Gutierrez’s death.
Sheriff’s officials have maintained that the deputy who fatally shot Efrain Gutierrez, identified in court documents as David Salazar of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station, fired his weapon out of fear for his safety. But Woodland Hills-based attorney Dale Galipo, who is representing the Gutierrez family, argued in a federal civil rights lawsuit that Efrain Gutierrez did not pose an immediate threat to the deputies when shot.
Sheriff’s officials said deputies confronted Efrain Gutierrez and tried to detain him and another man on suspicion of breaking into cars in the area.
When cornered, Gutierrez “lunged towards the deputy with a knife in his right hand,” officials from the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau said the day of the fatal shooting. “Fearing for his safety, the deputy fired several shots at suspect (Gutierrez), striking him.”
But Galipo said four key factors contradicted the sheriff’s version of events.
“We proved the distance was at least 28 feet when the first shots were fired,” the attorney said.
Gutierrez was shot five times, Galipo said. “The shots all had a back-to-front trajectory, with two shots in the back.”
Five shots were fired by the deputy, and all five struck Gutierrez, Galipo added. In addition to the two gunshot wounds to his back, he was shot in the shoulder, neck and side.
A 20-foot blood trail at the shooting scene led from the spot where Gutierrez was first shot toward a gate, Galipo said, indicating he was moving away from the deputy when shot, not toward the deputy as stated by the sheriff’s department.
And in Salazar’s depositions, Galipo said, the deputy testified that he saw an object in Gutierrez’s hand when he opened fire, but could not identify it.
A knife was recovered from the scene of the shooting, investigators said.
Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department strongly disagreed with the jury’s decision.
“We are right now preparing post-trial motions,” he said. “We’re also going to look at all the legal options, and they very well may include an appeal of this decision, which we disagree with entirely.”
“We stand behind our deputies and their actions,” Whitmore said.
Gutierrez, who was armed with a knife and had methamphetamine in his system posed a threat to both deputies and the public, he said.
“They did what they had to do,” Whitmore said. Not only were the deputies endangered by Gutierrez at the time of the shooting, “although this was a tragic result, and it is, they may have saved lives,” Whitmore said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the shooting and determined not to file any criminal charges against Salazar.
“We conclude that LASD Deputy David Salazar was placed in reasonable fear of imminent danger of death or great bodily injury by (Gutierrez’s) actions and acted lawfully in self-defense when he used deadly force,” Deputy District Attorney Amy Pellman Pentz wrote in the D.A.’s office findings. “We are therefore closing our file and will take no further action in this matter.”
Galipo acknowledged that Efrain Gutierrez had methamphetamine in his system, but said the amount of the drug found in his system was low.
The four-man, four-woman jury deliberated for a day and a half before unanimously deciding in favor of the Gutierrez family and awarding them $2 million in damages, Galipo said.
Gutierrez, who was unmarried and had no children, was working as a gardener at the time of his death, Galipo said.

PHOTO of Efrain Gutierrez courtesy of the Dale Galipo Law Offices

Man killed in off-duty officer-involved shooting in South Pasadena identified

SOUTH PASADENA — Coroner’s officials Friday released the name of a Los Angeles man fatally wounded by an off-duty California State University, Los Angeles police officer last weekend after allegedly shooting at the officer, authorities said.
Justo Quintero, 30, died at a hospital shortly after Sunday’s 1 a.m. shooting in the 1000 block of Arroyo Verde Road, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
Los Angeles County homicide detectives released little information regarding the encounter between the two men, citing the ongoing investigation and concerns for the safety of the officer, whose name has not been released, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
She declined to say why the officer was in the area, and said it was unclear why Quintero was there. The men did not know each other before the encounter early Sunday.
There was no argument, however the officer and suspect did exchange words, Francisco said. She declined to discuss the nature of the conversation, but said the officer did not identify himself as an off-duty law enforcement officer during the exchange.
“The suspect ended up pointing a firearm at him,” Francisco said. “The suspect did fire at the officer.”
The officer was not struck by multiple gunshots fired by Quintero, Francisco said. The officer returned fire, striking Quintero several times in the upper body.
Quintero got into a nearby car and began driving away before crashing into a parked car nearby, sheriff’s officials said. He was detained by South Pasadena police and taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena where he died from his wounds.
The officer was treated for abrasions to his face, though it was not clear exactly how he sustained them, Francisco added.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.