PASADENA — Friends and family members of a 19-year-old Azusa man shot to death by police in Pasadena two weeks ago said their tearful goodbyes Saturday, as community leaders continued their calls for justice in the fatal shooting.
Kendrec Lavelle “Mac” McDade died March 24 after being shot by two Pasadena police officers in the 700 block of Sunset Avenue.
The officers shot McDade as he reached in or around his waistband, police said. He was found to be unarmed, despite initial false reports from a 9-1-1 caller that he had a gun, according to officials.
Loved ones and community leaders eulogized McDade Saturday before laying him to rest at the Mountain View Mortuary and Cemetery, while renewing calls for a transparent, thorough and just investigation.
Joe Brown, president of the NAACP’s Pasadena branch, has been an outspoken advocate for the McDade family in the wake of the fatal shooting.
Even in death, he said, McDade can continue to be a force for positive change as community members advocate for justice in his name.
“It takes a lion to tangle with a lion,” he said. “(And) there will be a rumble in the jungle. Be prepared to hear that within the next few weeks.”
A graduate of Azusa High School and student at Citrus College, McDade was remembered and mourned Saturday by hundreds of people who crowded into the Metropolitan Baptist Church on Fair Oaks Avenue.
Family friend Nicole Comas read a statement on behalf of McDade’s mother, Anya Slaughter.
“I keep hoping I’ll wake up and this was a dream,” she said. “You were everything and more to me. My first child, my first love, so precious as a flower and as gorgeous as a bloomed rose.”
“I wanted you to be proud of the young man you grew to be and always strive to be the best,” Comas said on behalf of Slaughter. “I thank God for giving me 19 years with you.”
McDade’s uncle, Flent Adlean, thanked the community for supporting the family through the difficult time.
“We are grateful beyond measure,” he said. “We believe that grief is lessened when it is shared, and your sharing in this grieving process with us has made the pain easier to bear.”
McDade is survived by his mother, Anya Slaughter, his father, Kenneth McDade, four brothers, two sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles and a large group of cousins and other relatives.
Information that has come forward since the fatal shooting has left McDade’s loved ones and many members of the community demanding answers. Family members have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the police department, Chief Phillip Sanchez and officers Mathew Griffin and Jeffrey Newlen in connection with the shooting.
The lawsuit alleges that the police department has a pattern and practice of targeting young black men, and that the detective assigned to investigate McDade’s death is actively involved in a cover-up.
McDade was unarmed, though a man who initially called 9-1-1 reported being robbed at gunpoint. The first shots fired by police at McDade were fired by an officer seated inside a patrol car.
Police arrested a Oscar Carrillo, 26, of Pasadena on suspicion of manslaughter for making the false allegation regarding a gun, however Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials declined to file charges against him.
Carrillo’s attorney has said that police were making a scapegoat of his client in order to cover for their own wrongdoing.
Friends and family members described McDade as an admirable young man who excelled both academically and on the athletic fields. During the off-season for football, McDade’s primary sport, he took part in track and field, setting school records in the long jump, the high jump, the triple jump and relay racing.
His “No Guts No Glory Award remains on display at the high school’s gym.
Fellow students and teachers told of how McDade’s death has had a deep affect on students at his alma mater of Azusa High School.
Amanda Brown described McDade as a friendly, family-oriented person.
“He loved people and he loved to entertain,” she said. “Having a pleasant personality, he was often the life of parties. He was also a respectful, good-hearted young man and fun to be around. He was very close to his family, especially his mother.”
Religious leader, Mother Dorothy Evans of the Refuge Christian Center, called on the community to rally in support of the younger generation.
“Don’t wait until someone gets killed and join the political bandwagon,” she said.
Zion Star Missionary Baptist Church Pastor John Bledsoe agreed.
“What this incident, what this circumstance has done, is it has brought more organizations in the San Gabriel Valley together to support this family,” Bledsoe said.
All too often, he added, “We don’t act until we have tragedies. We need to be more pro-active, rather than reactive, and we need to do it before things occur.”
PASADENA — Prosecutors Thursday were still considering whether to file charges against a Pasadena man accused of lying about an armed robbery over the weekend, starting a chain of events that ended with the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Azusa man by police.
Oscar Felipe Carrillo Gonzales, 26, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of manslaughter in connection the late Saturday’s officer-involved shooting, which left Kendrec McDade dead, Pasadena police officials said.
Police presented their evidence to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Wednesday, however prosecutors had not determined Thursday whether Carrillo Gonzales would be charged, or what crime he would be charged with, according to district attorney’s officials.
Criminal defendants being held in custody are generally arraigned within two court days of arrest. Because courts are closed Friday for the Cesar Chavez holiday, a determination could potentially not be made until Monday.
According to county booking records, Carrillo Gonzales remained jailed Thursday in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Details continued to emerge Friday regarding the shooting of two suspects by a La Verne Police officer and two sheriff’s deputies during a narcotics operation in Hawaiian Gardens.
A multi-agency task force was keeping watch over a location at 211th Street and Norwalk Boulevard in Hawaiian Gardens just before 5:30 p.m. Thursday when they spotted two men arrive and leave, Lt. John Hocking of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau said.
“Believing they had possibly just delivered narcotics, the detectives attempted to contact the males,” Hocking said. “The males drove off in their vehicle driving erratically. When they reached 215th Street and Elaine Avenue, the driver of the vehicle drove directly at a La Verne Police Officer when an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
But the pursuit didn’t end there, officials said, as the car continued driving at high speed.
“Two deputies who were out of their vehicle at the end of the (Elaine Avenue) cul-de-sac identified themselves and attempted to detain the suspects,” Hocking said. “The suspects drove their vehicle at the deputies when a second officer involved shooting occurred.”
The car continued moving, he said, crashing into a sheriff’s patrol car and a parked pickup truck and were finally taken into custody.
The names of the two suspects, who were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, were not released.
No police officers or deputies were injured in the incident.
LOS ANGELES — A fugitive shot and killed by police and a federal agent as he stood on a rooftop was not armed, despite initial reports that he not only had a gun but fired it, authorities said Wednesday.The investigation into last week’s shooting in La Mirada found no evidence that Frank Martinez had fired or been in possession of a handgun. Police and witnesses reported seeing one, and officers thought he had fired at least one shot, Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith told The Associated Press.“The officers believed that the suspect had a gun hidden in his pocket,” Smith said.FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller confirmed the preliminary findings, saying, “it’s very important to correct the record.”Neither would give a reason why Martinez was believed to have a gun. They said that both agencies were beginning a far-reaching probe involving Los Angeles police and the FBI.Martinez was wanted on a warrant for two murders out of the Hollenbeck area of Los Angeles, acoording to police.A statement from police suggested that Martinez wanted police to believe he was armed. “The suspect refused to comply with officers and used his hand inside his pants to simulate pointing a gun at the officers,” it said.A joint LAPD-FBI task force had obtained an arrest warrant for Martinez, a documented gang member suspected of killing two other reputed gang members in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles on Nov. 30. On the morning of March 2, authorities tracked him to a home in La Mirada in southern Los Angeles County, where he was cornered.Martinez fled out the back and climbed on to the roof of a detached garage, where he was shot and killed. Three officers and an FBI agent were involved in the shooting, police said.Police handcuffed Martinez while he was on the roof. Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.Eimiller said similar joint task forces are constantly seeking fugitives in Southern California, far more than the public realizes.“They are out there every day arresting people,” she said. “But this obviously was not a usual situation.”- From the Associated Press
From Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department press release:
DATE: Monday, March 5, 2012
TIME: 9:30 PM
Arden Drive at Freer Street, Temple City
Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are responding to Arden Drive at Freer Street, Temple City, to assist El Monte Police Department Personnel investigate the circumstances surrounding an officer involved shooting. The shooting occurred at the termination of a pursuit which initiated in the City of El Monte.
The suspect, who was struck in the upper torso, was transported to a local hospital where his condition is unknown at this time. No officers were injured. A second suspect was taken into custody without incident.
There is no further information at this time.
If you have information about this incident, contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau
at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org
LA MIRADA — Officials Friday released the name of a double-murder suspect shot and killed by a SWAT team after authorities said he fired on officers who were trying to arrest him.
Frank Eric Martinez, 27, died following the alleged exchange of gunfire, which occurred about 8:30 a.m. on Escalona Road, near Cheshire Street, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said.
His last address was unknown, as he had been a fugitive since January, when Los Angeles police investigators obtained a warrant for his arrest in connection with the shooting deaths of two men last November in Boyle Heights.
After tracking Martinez to the La Mirada home, LAPD and FBI investigators surrounded it an an arrest attempt before he fled out the back door and climbed onto a neighbor’s roof, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.
Martinez then drew a gun and fired a single shot at police, who returned fire, Smith said.
No officers were injured in the exchange.
Martinez was being sought in connection with the shooting deaths of Arturo Gomez, 31, and Jesus Rendon, 36, following a Nov. 20 fistfight in the 2100 block of City View Avenue in Boyle Heights, LAPD officials said.
LA MIRADA — A Los Angeles police SWAT team shot and killed a man Thursday wanted in connection with a double-slaying in Los Angeles last year, authorities said.
The dead man was initially described only as 27 years old, according to LAPD Commander Andrew Smith.
The incident took place about 8:30 a.m. on Escalona Road, near Cheshire Street.
An LAPD SWAT team joined with an FBI fugitive task force and went looking for the man, who was identified in a suspect in a Nov. 2011 double-slaying in the Hollenbeck area of Los Angeles, the Commander said. An arrest warrant for the suspect was issued in January.
When police surrounded the home where the suspect was believed to be ordered him to exit, “He opted to run out and shoot at our officers,” Smith said.
The man ran out the back door of the home, climbed onto the roof of a neighbors home, drew a firearm and fired a shot toward the 15 or so officers attempting to arrest him, Smith said. Officers returned fire, fatally wounding the suspect.
No police officers were injured in the incident, LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera said.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nearby Escalona Elementary School was briefly locked down as a precaution following the shooting, officials said.
The man shot to death Thursday was suspected in the Nov. 20, 2011 shooting deaths of Arturo Gomez, 31 and Jesus Rendon, 36, in the 2100 block of City View Avenue in Boyle Heights, LAPD officials said.
The men were standing outside just after midnight when the fatal attack took place, LAPD officials said in a written statement.
“Five (then-)unidentified suspects walked up to Gomez and Rendon and one of them began fighting with Gomez,” according to the statement. “Gunfire then erupted from within the suspect group, and both Gomez and Rendon were shot.”
Gomez died at the scene of the shooting, while Rendon died at a hospital a short time later.
Escalona Road resident Michon Munoz said she was asleep in her home when she was awakened by the sound of a helicopter.
“All of a sudden, I heard seven gunshots,” she said. “We came out, and everybody was in my front yard running around.”
Nearby resident Michael Liberto said he was walking down the street when he noticed police preparing for something big. When he saw officers putting on bullet-proof vests and helmets, he decided it was time to walk in the other direction.
“I saw my neighbor lady walking her dog. I shooed her into her house,” Liberto added.
“The next thing, I hear, ‘pop pop pop.’” he said. “It was at least eight shots. They had to have killed somebody.”
The dog-walking neighbor, Lorraine Swickard, said she was not aware of anything unusual before two neighbors told her to get inside.
“I didn’t know what the heck was going on,” Swickard said. “I was just taking my dog out for a walk.”
Several neighbors described the neighborhood as normally quiet and said the violence Thursday morning came as a shock.
Authorities cordoned off the area as they investigated the incident. The investigation is being handled by the LAPD, as well as the FBI.
DUARTE – A man who was shot and wounded by a parole officer Friday was trying to rob the ununiformed officer at knifepoint, authorities said.
The wounded suspect’s name was not released as he remained hospitalized in stable condition, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Mary Leef said in a written statement. He was expected to be booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, attempted robbery and violating parole.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officers were searching for a parole violator about 2:20 p.m. in the 1900 block of Huntington Drive when they believed they spotted him, Leef said.
A plain-clothed parole officer stood on a sidewalk in an attempt to confirm that the man was the parolee they were looking for, she said.
“While doing so, the suspect approached the officer, pulled a knife on him and demanded the officer’s cell phone,” Leef said.
“The parole officer identified himself at which time the suspect came at him with the knife,” according to the lieutenant. “In fear for his safety, the parole officer fired multiple times, striking the suspect several times in the upper torso.”
The parole officer was not hurt in the incident, and the knife was recovered from the scene, officials said.
The massive on-scene investigation that followed the shooting lasted more than 12 hours and kept residents of several nearby apartment buildings out of their homes overnight as the area remained cordoned off by authorities.
Robert Westmoreland, 69, said he was unable to return to his home until 4 a.m.
He said he left his apartment about 11 a.m. Friday, prior to the shooting.
When he returned at 3 p.m., police told him he could not enter the area because of the investigation. After waiting six hours, he elected to go stay with relatives in Pasadena.
At 4 a.m., Westmoreland said, deputies allowed him to park his car at a nearby bank and walk back to his home.
“It was inconvenient, but I understand the officers got to do what they got to do,” he said. “They’ve got a job to do.”
Traffic was shut down between Highland Avenue and Mt. Olive Drive following the shooting.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is spearheading the investigation into the shooting.
DUARTE — A California Department of Corrections officer was involved in a shooting Friday, however few other details were initially available.
The shooting was first reported at 2:22 p.m. in the 1900 block of Huntington Drive, just east of Highland Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Mariscola said.
The circumstances of the shooting remained under investigation, he said.
A CDC officer fired a weapon, and suspect was hospitalized in unknown condition, however it was not immediately clear if the suspect had been shot, Mariscola said.
No officials were injured in the incident, he added.
No further information was available.