NORWALK >> Authorities have released the identity of an 18-year-old Whittier man fatally shot by deputies Tuesday after allegedly pointing a gun at the law enforcement officers.
John Anthony Gonzalez died at the scene of the 6:33 p.m. deputy-involved shooting at Imperial Highway and Pioneer Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
A second man, who officials said also pointed a gun at deputies, was arrested without injury, deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. His identity has not been released, and it was unclear Saturday whether criminal charges had been filed against him.
Sheriff’s officials said they recovered both suspects’ guns, but have released no further details regarding the shooting or what led up to it.
WHITTIER >> A police officer shot and wounded a put bull that charged at him as he was investigating a report of a disturbance at a Whittier home Friday, officials said.
The dog is expected to recover and the officer suffered no injuries in the incident, which unfolded about 4 p.m. in the 11200 block of Larrylyn Drive, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said.
An officer responded to a report of a dispute between a landlord and tenant, Ruiz said.
As the officer contact a resident, the pit bull ran past the dog owner and toward the officer, the lieutenant said.
Fearing for his safety, Ruiz said, the officer fired three shots from his duty weapon, striking the dog twice.
The dog was treated by a veterinarian and is expected to make a full recovery, Ruiz said.
No arrests resulted from the incident, or from the initial call of a disturbance.
VALINDA >> Coroner’s officials have identified a 25-year-old Baldwin Park man who was fatally shot by a deputy Friday after he allegedly broke into a family’s home while fleeing deputies, then reached for a deputy’s gun, officials said.
Johnny Angel Rangel died in the 1:18 a.m. deputy-involved shooting at a home in the 800 block of Ashcomb Drive, in the unincorporated county area of Valinda, Lt. David Smith of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said.
Rangel’s city of residence was not listed in coroner’s records, however police described him as a Baldwin Park resident when he was arrested in West Covina last year.
Deputies patrolling spotted Rangel at Azusa Avenue and Amar Road early Friday morning and thought him to be suspicious, Detective Louie Aguilera of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. When they approached him, he ran.
Rangel broke into a nearby home on Ashcomb Drive, Aguilera said. A family comprised of two men and two women was sleeping inside.
Deputies evacuated the residents, but Rangel refused to exit the home, officials said.
“Deputies made entry into the home and gave verbal commands to the suspect to comply and cooperate,” Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“During this time, the suspect grabbed for a deputy’s firearm and a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
Rangel was struck once in the upper torso and died at the scene, officials said.
“A knife, believed to belong to the suspect, was recovered at the scene,” Navarro-Suarez said. No deputies were hurt, nor were any of the residents of the home.
Resident Carlos Flores said he did not recognize the intruder, later identified as Rangel.
Rangel was released from county jail in December after serving about six months in jail after being arrested in June of last year on suspicion of fighting with police in West Covina while high on methamphetamine, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court and booking records.
In that incident, officers subdued Rangel with a Taser, West Covina police Lt. Dave Lee said at the time.
Two officers suffered minor injuries in the scuffle, which occurred after officers responded to reports that an intoxicated Rangel was causing a disturbance.
After being hospitalized for a suspected meth overdose, Rangel was ultimately convicted of threatening police in December of 2014 and released from custody on “time served,” according to officials and records. Charges of battery against a peace officer and resisting police were dismissed.
Rangel’s criminal history also includes a conviction for possession of an assault weapon in 2011 and violating a gang injunction in 2012.
VALINDA >> Deputies shot a suspect in the unincorporated county area of Valinda early Friday, officials said.
The shooting was reported at 1:24 a.m. at Azusa Avenue and Amar Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
A suspect was wounded by gunfire, Sgt. Carmen Arballo of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said. The suspect’s condition was unclear.
No deputies were injured in the incident, Arballo said.
No further details were available.
INDUSTRY >> Deputies captured a fleeing suspect after trading gunfire with the man and wounding him in a commercial neighborhood in Industry late Friday, authorities said.
The gunfight took place just before midnight in the 13300 block of Crossroads Parkway North, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies responded to a report of a man acting strange and yelling at people in the parking lot. Deputy Trina Schrader of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
When deputies arrived, they found the 41-year-old man in a car, according to Deputy Ryan Rouzan. He fled from the vehicle on foot with a handgun.
“While searching for the suspect, the suspect fired several times at the deputies, and a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” Rouzan said.
Though deputies did not know it at the time, the suspect was wounded by their gunfire, officials said.
Deputies found the suspect hiding in some foliage leading up to the 60 Freeway, Rouzan said.
After he refused orders to surrender, the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, or SWAT team, was summoned to take over the situation.
About three hours later, “After several attempts to negotiate his surrender, the suspect was taken into custody by SEB personnel,” Rouzan said.
He was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds to his “upper torso,” Rouzan said. His identity was not released Saturday and his condition was unavailable.
“The suspect’s weapon was recovered at the scene,” Navarro-Suarez said.
Officials shut down both directions of the 60 Freeway between Crossroads Parkway and Seventh Avenue and evacuated nearby homes during the suspect search.
Authorities reopened the 60 Freeway and lifted evacuations shortly after 3 a.m.
COVINA >> A police officer rescued a 63-year-old woman as she was being attacked by three large German shepherd dogs in her front yard Wednesday morning.
A neighbor called police about 8:50 a.m. after seeing the three dogs attacking the woman in the fenced front yard of her home in the 1400 block of East Covina Hills Road, Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said.
“An officer observed a female being attacked and bitten by three large dogs in the front yard of a residence,” Sgt. Gregg Peterson said in a written statement.
The officer approached the animals and began yelling in an effort to divert their attention from the victim, Doonan said. The dogs then began charging toward the officer.
“Fearing for his safety, the officer shot at the charging dogs with his department issued handgun,” Peterson said. “This caused the dogs to turn and run away from the officer and the victim and into a neighboring yard.”
The dogs were not struck by the gunfire, officials said.
The woman suffered puncture wounds and scrapes to her arms and legs, officials said. She was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and released later in the day.
Doonan said it was fortunate the officer was able to prevent more serious injuries.
“We’re happy that a neighbor heard her screaming, and they called, and we were able to respond quickly,” he said.
Officers found all three dogs in a nearby yard, Peterson said. Police kept them there and summoned County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control officials to take charge of the animals.
A “potentially dangerous dog” investigation has been initiated, said Danny Ubario, manager of the agency’s Baldwin Park office. Several citations and orders to correct violations were issued, however Ubario said he did not have further details.
In the meantime, the three German shepherds — a male, a female and their puppy — were being quarantined on the owner’s property.
Once the DACA investigation is complete, the owner of the dogs may face a hearing to determine what steps are necessary to correct the problem.
WEST COVINA >> A Fontana man accused of wounding a California Highway Patrol officer in a shotgun attack last week entered a not guilty plea Wednesday as investigators released new details regarding the West Covina shootout that erupted during a routine traffic stop.
John Alfred Garcia, 30, is accused of opening fire on CHP officer Felix Serpas with a semi-automatic shotgun after being pulled over at the Sunset Avenue offramp of the westbound 10 Freeway in West Covina just after 1:30 a.m. Friday.
The wounded CHP officer and his partner returned fire, wounding Garcia before he led West Covina police and other authorities on a high speed chase that ended with his arrest in Fontana.
Garcia pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of attempted murder of a peace officer, assault on a peace officer with a semi-automatic firearm and felony evading of police, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said. Garcia is also accused of the special allegations that her personally fired a semi-automatic firearm during the crime, and that the shooting resulted in great bodily injury to the officer.
Serpas and partner Jeremy Keller pulled over a Cadillac Escalade, suspecting the driver may be impaired, CHP Assistant Chief Marc Shaw said. Keller had one year experience with the CHP.
The SUV exited the freeway and stopped in a the parking lot of a business along Sunset Avenue, he said. Felix approached the Escalade to talk with the driver, later identified as Garcia.
“He greeted the driver of the vehicle and was able to get the words, “Good evening,” out when, immediately, an attempt to murder our officer occurred,” Shaw said.
“Our officer tactically retreated. The suspect exited with a semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun and continued his deliberate, aggressive and premeditated attack in his attempt to murder our officers,” Shaw said. “An officer-involved shooting occurred as they attempted to defend their lives, and an exchange of gunfire in excess of 30 seconds occurred at that point.”
It was unclear how many shot were traded by the suspect and officers.
Garcia got back into his SUV and fled. West Covina police officers soon spotted the Escalade, initiating a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph before coming to an end in Fontana. Officers took Garcia, who had been wounded in the shootout, into custody with help from a West Covina police K-9.
The reason Garcia attacked the officers remained unclear, officials said. He had no outstanding arrest warrants, and the SUV he was driving was not stolen.
A second occupant was believed to be inside the Garcia’s SUV when officers first stopped it, but was not present when the chase conclusion. It was unclear exactly when and where the second occupant exited the vehicle. The search for the passenger continued Wednesday.
Serpas, a 40-year-old with six years experience with the CHP, was discharged from a hospital Tuesday and was resting at home, said Capt. Steve Urrea of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office, where Serpas works.
Though he sustained wounds to his torso, head, neck and both arms, ‘He’s expected to make a full recovery,” Urrea said.
The injuries could have been worse if not for the officer’s bullet-proof vest, Urrea said.
CHP officials thanked West Covina police, other agencies and medical professions who assisted helped in the aftermath of the shooting.
“This part incident could have happened in any city in California. We were blessed to be there at the right time and have the opportunity to get involved and assist in apprehending the suspect.,” West Covina Police Chief David Faulkner said.
Faulkner also thanked the numerous other agencies who took part in the apprehension and arrest.
Garcia was ordered back to court Oct. 27 for a preliminary hearing setting, Risling said. Bail was set at $2.075 million.
PHOTOS: [TOP] – Alleged gunman John Garcia, 30, of Fontana opens fire on two CHP officers after being pulled over in West Covina on Friday, Sept. 11, 2014. (Courtesy of the CHP) [CENTER] – CHP Officer Felix Serpas approaches an SUV moments before being shot and wounded. (Courtesy of the CHP) [BELOW] – CHP shooting suspect John Alfred Garcia, 30, of Fontana. (Courtesy of the CHP)
Coroner’s officials identified the armed carjacking suspect who was fatally shot by deputies inside a Downey restaurant following a car chase through several communities and taking hostages inside the eatery.
Eddie Tapia, 41, died at the scene after being shot by SWAT deputies at the conclusion of Thursday night’s standoff, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operation Ed Winter said. His city of residence was unknown.
Sheriff’s officials said the man took four people hostage inside the Chris’ & Pitt’s BBQ restaurant at 9243 Lakewood Blvd.
• Related: Suspect shot and killed after chase, standoff
Deputies shot Tapia when he didn’t comply with orders to put down his weapon and “posed as an imminent threat to the hostages”, according to a sheriff’s department statement. The department didn’t say how many deputies were involved in the shooting.
• Video: Sheriff’s press conference
Four hostages were rescued, and the suspect’s handgun was recovered. Lt. Darren Harris said the hostages weren’t injured.
“He posed a great risk to the public, and deputies made a split-second decision,” Harris said,
WEST COVINA >> A gunman shot and wounded a California Highway Patrol officer during a traffic stop in West Covina early Friday before being apprehended following a pursuit that ended in Fontana, authorities said.
The officer was hospitalized in stable condition following the 1:40 a.m. shooting along the Sunset Avenue offramp of the westbound 10 Freeway, CHP Officer Tony Polizzi said.
He had pulled over a Cadillac Escalade containing a man and woman.
“During the course of the traffic stop, one of the suspects shot and struck the officer,” Polizzi said.
The officer returned fire, he said. It was unclear whether either suspect was struck.
After wounding the officer, the suspects fled but were quickly spotted by West Covina police officers, Polizzi said.
Police chased the SUV on multiple freeways until the pursuit came to an end following a crash at Arrow Boulevard and Citrus Avenue in Fontana, where the alleged shooter was captured, officials said.
It was not immediately clear whether the woman who accompanied the suspect was also in custody. No further details were available.