Pasadena man guilty of fatally shooting sister, wounding her son in San Gabriel

SAN GABRIEL >> A jury convicted a Pasadena man of murder and other charges on Thursday for fatally shooting his own sister, and attempting to shoot her 13-year-old son, at their San Gabriel home after the sister criticized him for physically abusing his then-girlfriend, officials said.
A jury in Alhambra convicted Johnny Goins, 32, of first-degree murder, attempted murder and two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling for the March 5, 2015, attack at the victims’ apartment in the 5100 block of Rosemead Boulevard, in an unincorporated county area just east of San Gabriel, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. The jury also found true the special allegation that he personally and intentionally discharged a firearm during the crime.
Tanaya Goins, 32, died after Goins arrived at her apartment about 6:40 a.m. and opened fire, Lt. Dave Dolson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said shortly after the slaying.
Tanaya Goins was shot in the head and torso, officials said. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene. Her 13-year-son, the shooter’s nephew, was wounded in the arm.
Goins carried out the shooting because he was enraged by a text message conversation his sister had with his then-girlfriend.
“According to evidence presented at trial, Johnny Goins’ girlfriend alerted Tanaya Goins that the defendant had tried to suffocate her,” according to Ardalani. “In a series of text messages, the girlfriend also stated that the defendant told her he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because he experienced violence as a child.
“Tanaya Goins told the girlfriend that her brother did not suffer child abuse and that he should not be assaulting women,” Ardalani said.
This prompted Johnny Goins to arm himself with a revolver and head to her apartment, where he fired a volley of shots through the front door and window.
Detectives identified Johnny Goins as the suspect and arrested him in Moreno Valley later the same day.
Ardalani said Goins faces up to 77 years to life in state prison when he returns to court for sentencing on April 6.

PHOTOS: [ABOVE] Johnny Goins in court during an arraignment hearing on March 9, 2015. (By Watchara Phomicinda)  [BELOW] Tanaya Goins (Courtesy)

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Men rob woman in Pasadena after asking for directions


PASADENA >> A young woman who offered strangers travel directions ended up getting robbed in return for kindness in Pasadena on Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The crime took place about 5:25 p.m. in the 100 block of South Sierra Madre Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
An 18-year-old woman was walking down the sidewalk when a light-colored, two-door car pulled up alongside her, Goodman said. Two men inside asked for directions to Pasadena City College.
Goodman said the woman offered to help them by looking up directions on her smartphone.
She handed the phone to the passenger so he could see the screen, he said. The passenger grabbed the phone, and also grabbed onto a backpack the victim was wearing.
The woman struggled with the robber and managed to hang on to her backpack, but fell to the ground in the process, the lieutenant said. She suffered an abrasion to her hip but required no medical treatment.
The two robbers sped away with the woman’s cell phone.
Detailed suspect descriptions were not available.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Pasadena gang member pleads guilty in police shooting


PASADENA >> A Pasadena gang member accused of shooting at a police officer before being wounded himself and arrested pleaded guilty to three felony charges in connection with the incident, authorities said Wednesday.
Francisco Flores, 23, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of assault on a peace officer with a firearm, discharging a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of methamphetamine while armed with a handgun, with allegations the crimes gang-related, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement. He’s expected to be sentenced to 35 years in prison when he returns to Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing on March 17.
He was a passenger in a car two officers tried to pull over about 9:15 a.m. on April 8, 2016, at Buckeye Street and Los Robles Avenue. The car came to an abrupt stop at Buckeye Street and Adena Avenue, where Flores ran from the vehicle.
An officer followed Flores, according to the police statement. “While running, suspect Flores looked back at (the pursuing officer), pointed a gun at the officer and fired three rounds, fortunately missing.”
The officer returned fire, striking Flores, police said. Flores was treated for his wounds and has since recovered.
Flores was already out on bail pending an illegal gun possession case at the time of the shooting, officials said.

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Gunman sought in Pasadena robbery


PASADENA >> A Pasadena man lost his cash and cell phone to an armed robber early Friday, police said.
The crime took place about 1:15 a.m. at Catalina Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
The robber approached the victim as he walked down the street and brandished a handgun, according to the lieutenant said.
“The suspect demanded the victim’s cash and cell phone,” he said. “After committing the theft, the suspect fled in a dark-colored SUV north on Catalina Avenue, out of sight.”
Police described the robber as a black man in his 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 140 pounds, with short black hair. He wore dark clothing.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man robs woman inside restroom at Paseo Colorado mall in Pasadena


PASADENA >> Police are seeking a man who followed a woman into a restroom and robbed her at the Paseo Colorado shopping mall in Pasadena on Saturday afternoon.
The crime took place just before 2:10 p.m. at the mall, 300 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
A 37-year-old woman went into a women’s restroom at the mall when the robber followed her in and confronted her inside, he said.
“The suspect demanded the victim’s purse,” he said. “The victim ran out of the restroom and was followed by the suspect, who picked up the victim’s purse which was left behind when she exited the restroom.”
A good Samaritan confronted the robber outside of the bathroom and dropped the woman’s purse, “but only after removing the victim’s cell phone,” according to the lieutenant. The robber fled and food and was not found.
Police described the robber as a black man between 30 and 35 years old, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, bald, wearing all-black clothing.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Car crashes into same Pasadena Cheesecake Factory where pyrotechnic device was thrown

Authorities continued looking for a man who threw what was described as a “homemade pyrotechnic device” into a Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Old Pasadena Thursday evening. (Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

PASADENA >> A car crashed into a Pasadena Cheesecake Factory on Saturday afternoon, shattering windows and rattling nerves at the same restaurant where an improvised pyrotechnic device was detonated two days earlier, but resulting in no significant injuries or structural damage, police said.
The crash took place shortly before 4 p.m. at the restaurant, 2 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
A man was making a right-hand turn from Fair Oaks Avenue to Colorado Boulevard when he lost control, the lieutenant said.
“He didn’t negotiate turn property and ended up crashing into the plate glass window,” according to Goodman.
The driver complained of pain but did not appear seriously hurt, he said. No one inside the restaurant was injured.
Goodman said driving under the influence was not suspected, and the driver was not arrested or cited.
The incident was in no way connected to Thursday nights unusual attack, in which an unidentified person threw a homemade pyrotechnic device — likened to a firework — into the restaurant and fled. No injuries or significant damage were reported.
The motive in Thursday’s incident remained unclear, and the man who threw the device remained at large.

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Pasadena police to hold checkpoint on Friday

PASADENA >> Police in Pasadena are planning a checkpoint on Friday night to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses, authorities said.
The checkpoint is to take place from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Over the past three years, Pasadena police have seen 194 DUI-related collisions, which resulted in four deaths and another 104 injuries, according to the statement.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Duo sought in string of three robberies in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Two men with a handgun went on a robbery spree in Pasadena late Thursday, mugging three people in just over about 30 minutes, authorities said.
The crimes were reported between 10:20 p.m. and 10:54 p.m. in residential neighborhoods north of the 210 Freeway, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
In all three cases, the robbers approached their victims in a black SUV, he said. One of the robbers brandished a handgun and demanded property while his accomplice gathered the victim’s money and cell phones.
The due robbed a 26-year-old woman at 10:20 p.m. in the 400 block of Mar Vista Avenue; a 46-year-old man at 10:52 p.m. in the 600 block of Mar Vista Street; and a 30-year-old man at 10:54 p.m. in the 400 block of N. Euclid Avenue, Goodman said.
All three victims were Pasadena residents, he said. No injuries were reported.
The robbers were described as two black men of thin build, wearing all-dark clothing. “One was in his 20s, between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall and carried a handgun. The second robber was about 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Man sought after hurling explosive into Old Pasadena Cheesecake factory


  • PASADENA >> No one was hurt when a man threw some type of “homemade pyrotechnic device” into a Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Old Pasadena on Thursday evening, authorities said.
    The attacker remained at large following the incident, which took place just after 6 p.m. at the restaurant at 2 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Art Chute said.
    The restaurant was crowded with diners when a man opened the front doors and tossed in the device, which exploded, the lieutenant said.
    No injuries or significant damage to the building were reported.
    “Officers immediately entered the restaurant and evacuated customers and employees and located a detonated homemade pyrotechnic device,” Pasadena police said in a written statement. “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb squad responded to the scene and rendered the device safe.”
    The device was described as a seemingly homemade pyrotechnic device containing gunpowder, Chute said.
    The man who threw the device was last seen fleeing the area on foot.
    The motive in the bizarre attack remained a mystery.
    “Pasadena police detectives are currently handling the investigation and out of an abundance of caution, the federal authorities have been notified,” according to the statement.
    Police described the man as a Latino or Middle Eastern man, about 6 feet tall, of thin build, with a heavy beard. He wore all black clothing and a black beanie.
    Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
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Killer in triple-fatal Pasadena AK-47 rampage sentenced to 181 years behind bars

SMITH

PASADENA >> A Pasadena man who fatally shot his ex-girlfriend, her father and a neighbor who tried to help, then opened fire on a responding police officer, during a 2014 assault weapon rampage will spend the rest of his life in prison after receiving a sentence of nearly two centuries in state prison on Wednesday, authorities said.
John Izeal Smith, 46, received a sentence of 181 years to life in state prison in the Burbank branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, in connection with the Jan. 12, 2014, triple-murder in the 1700 block of North Summit Avenue, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said.
The sentence was agreed upon under a plea arrangement reached in December, when Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second degree murder, as well as charges of attempted murder and assault with an assault weapon on a police officer.
Killed in the AK-47 shooting spree were Smith’s ex-girlfriend, 59-year-old Maria Aguiar, with whom he still lived; her 91-year-old father Luis Aguiar; and 31-year-old neighbor 31-year-old Jose Hernandez Iribe, according to Los Angeles County coroner and Pasadena police officials.
“Smith got into a domestic altercation with (Aguiar), grabbed an assault rifle and opened fire,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. “Aguiar was killed along with her elderly father.”
Smith then fatally shot Iribe as he rushed toward the gunfire to help Maria Aguiar as she lied wounded in the sidewalk, according to Pasadena police.
Smith then barricaded himself inside the home and called 911 to report the shooting.
He opened fire on the first officer to arrive at the scene, Officer John Woo, who took cover behind his patrol SUV to escape the barrage of gunfire, officials said. Fellow officers used an armored vehicle to rescue Woo from the line of fire.
More than 40 rounds were fired by Smith during the rampage.
Two other people were treated for non-life-threatening injuries following the incident, officials said.
The special circumstance of multiple murders could have made Smith eligible for the death penalty, however prosecutors chose not to seek capital punishment for the crimes.

PHOTO: Johh Izeal Smith, 46, of Pasadena. (file)

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