PICO RIVERA – A man died early Friday after he was shot while riding his bicycle, officials said.
The name of the dead man had not been identified Friday morning, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
Coroner’s officials estimated the man to be in his 30s or 40s, while sheriff’s investigators estimated the man to be in his 20s.
The fatal shooting was reported about 4 a.m. at the corner of Serapis Avenue and Terradell Street, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The victim was riding a bike down the street,” Lt. Mike Rosson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
No eyewitnesses to the attack had been located, however witnesses reported hearing gunshots before going outside to see what had happened, the lieutenant said.
They discovered a man lying wounded in the street, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, he said.
Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene.
No suspect description was available, and it was unclear whether a vehicle was involved in the shooting, Rosson said.
Authorities suspected the shooting was gang-related.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
PICO RIVERA — Law enforcement officials from the past and present gathered Wednesday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station.
Sheriff’ Lee Baca was joined at the ceremony by other sheriff’s officials including station Capt. James Thornton Jr., who currently heads the station, as well as five past captains.
Attendees from all generations were invited to tour the station following the ceremony, “comparing its current state to the days of old,” Thornton said.
“This is like coming home,. This is a great place ot have worked,” said former captain Larry Anderson, who led the station from 1978 to 1980. “I just appreciate being a part of this family.”
Juan Rodriguez, who served at the station’s captain from 1997 to 2004, also shared fond memories of serving the people of Pico Rivera.
“I loved it,” he said. “I thought it was the best community where we could possibly work.”
“I miss it dearly,” he said. “I miss it every day. I love this station. I love this community and I’ll always treasure it from the bottom of my heart.”
Patrol cars from the station’s early days, including a 1970 Plymouth Fury and a 1978 Chevrolet Nova, were on display next to their modern counterparts
Sheriff Baca credited the current and former captains with making the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station what it is today.
The station itself is only a building, he said.
“(The captains) are the ones who built the sheriff’s department’s legacy here,” Baca said.
He also commended city officials for their partnership with the sheriff’s department over the past four decades.
“What we’ve had is a great relationship that is built upon our city’s leadership,” the sheriff said. “We obviously enjoy working for this great city of Pico Rivera.
Baca added that after 40 years of service, the station was growing crowded and it planned to look into possibilities for expansion.
PICO RIVERA — Authorities have released the name of a 48-year-old man whose body was found possibly burned earlier this month in the San Gabriel riverbed, according to officials and friends.
The body of Albert Martinez was found in an advanced stage of decomposition about 9:50 a.m. July 4 in the riverbed, about 100 yards south of Beverly Boulevard, according to Los Angeles County coroner and sheriff’s officials. A city of residence was not listed, however his priest said he was a transient with lifelong ties to Pico RIvera.
Sheriff’s officials initially estimated that the body had been there for days or weeks.
Further investigation indicated a fire was involved, coroner’s officials said. An official cause of death remained undetermined pending test results, and no further details were available. An official cause was not expected to be determined for more than a month.
Father Joshua Lee of the St. Hilary Church of Perpetual Adoration said Martinez grew up in the area and had attended the church since he was a little boy.
“I knew him very well,” Lee said, adding that he last saw Martinez two to three weeks before his body was discovered.
Though Martinez had long struggled with alcoholism, “He was a very fine man in many ways,” Lee said. “When he was sober, he was a wonderful, wonderful person.”
“He was a man of deep prayer,” the priest added.
St. Hilary is open 24 hours per day, and Lee said Martinez would sometimes be seen there praying both early in the morning and late at night.
A deeply philosophical man, he was homeless by choice, refusing efforts by family members and the church to get him off the streets, Lee said.
Martinez would say his homelessness was his “penance” for past transgressions.
The death was being investigated by detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. Anyone with information was asked to contact the bureau at 323-890-5500.
PICO RIVERA — A passer-by discovered a the body of a man in the San Gabriel riverbed early Thursday, officials said.
The discovery was reported to authorities about 9:50 a.m. in the riverbed about 100 yards south of Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Dianna Woodward said. The age of the man was not clear.
The body was found in some bushes, Lt. Robert Smith said. Due to the level of decomposition displayed, officials suspected the body may have been there for days or even weeks.
Though there were no overt signs of foul play at the scene, detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were summoned to the scene to investigate, the lieutenant said.
An officials cause of death will be determined by investigators from the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.
No further details were available.
PICO RIVERA — Coroner’s investigators Sunday released the name of a 27-year-old Pico Rivera woman who was found shot to death in a residential driveway last week.
Jessica Gomez died at the scene of Wednesday’s shooting, which took place shortly before 9:45 p.m. on Church Street, just south of Underwood Street, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said.
Investigators described the shooter only as a Latino man who fled the scene in a white Dodge Magnum, which one witness said had tinted windows.
The attack was believed to be gang-related, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Neighborhood residents said they heard what sounded like at least five gunshots in the shooting.
Gomez was believed to have been walking with another person when she was shot, officials said, however no further information regarding that second person was available Sunday.
PICO RIVERA — Deputies arrested three men early Wednesday for carrying out six auto burglaries while driving around in a stolen pickup truck, authorities said.
The names of the three suspects were not available pending completion of the booking process, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
Deputies responded about 3:30 a.m. to a report about of a suspicious pickup truck with three people near it in the 9200 block of Isora Street, the lieutenant said.
As deputies were en route, the caller informed officials that he had just seen the men breaking into a car, he said. Two of the burglars left the area in a black Toyota F-150 pickup truck, while the other was last seen walking away from the area.
Deputies stopped a pickup truck matching the description nearby, Smith said. The driver was detained immediately, while the passenger fled on foot and was captured nearby.
The third suspect was found hiding in a trash can in the area, he added.
Investigation linked the suspects to six auto break-ins, Smith said. Five of them took place on Isora Street, while another was reported on nearby Lindsey Avenue.
Deputies also recovered some items that had not been able to find the rightful owners of, Smith said. Anyone who recently had items stolen in a car burglary in the area can contact the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421 to see if the stolen property is among the recovered loot.
The pickup truck was determined to have been reported stolen out of San Bernardino County, he said.
The burglars primarily appeared to be targeting unlocked cars, Smith said. He reminded residents to always lock car doors when away and keep valuables out of view.
INDUSTRY – A man driving a Honda Civic and two of his young passengers died late Thursday when their car collided head-on with a Nissan Sentra following a elementary school graduation party.
The names of the dead man and children were not released Friday pending confirmation that their families had been notified, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. The driver was initially described as a 22-year-old man, and the children were described as approximately 13 years old.
Four other people were also injured in the 8:45 p.m. crash in the 3500 block of San Gabriel River Parkway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“A preliminary investigation revealed the Honda passenger vehicle was travelling north on San Gabriel River Parkway and crossed over into the southbound lanes of traffic,” according to Lt. Andrew Meyer of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station. “The Honda passenger vehicle struck the Nissan Sentra, which was traveling Southbound on San Gabriel River Parkway, and a head-on collision occurred.”
“There’s no suspicion of intoxicated driving at this time,” Sgt. Gerard Velona of the sheriff’s Industry Station said.
Speed was believed to be a factor on the part of the Honda, which was believed to have been traveling in excess of 80 mph prior to the crash, Velona said.
There were five people in the Honda.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, Meyer said.
Three minors sitting in the back of the car were all ejected, sheriff’s officials said. Two of them died at the scene, while the third was hospitalized in critical condition.
It was not clear whether the ejected children were wearing seat belts.
A front passenger of the Honda, described by sheriff’s officials only as female, was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash.
Rene Ayala, 26, of Whittier, the godfather of the surviving child who was thrown from the Honda, said the three children were boys who had just attended a small party to celebrate their graduation from Carmela Elementary School. He added that his godson was 12, about to turn 13.
After visiting him at the hospital, “He’s doing good,” the godfather said. “I just told him to relax.”
The driver was Ayala’s godson’s uncle, he said. Friends and family members who visited the scene Friday morning did not know the identity of the front passenger, who officials said was also hospitalized in critical condition.
The driver and three boys were all from Whittier, Ayala said, though the driver had been recently staying in Compton.
The driver’s wife, who also attended the small graduation party at a nearby home, left in a separate vehicle, Ayala said. Through chance and intuition, she came upon the crash scene just after it occurred.
As she was driving, “She saw the road was blocked ahead,” he said. “She got a weird feeling.”
She made her way closer to the scene and realized her husband’s car was involved, Ayala said.
Anthony Cerda, 27, of Whittier is a friend of the driver who stopped by the scene Friday.
“I’m just in shock. It’s very tragic what happened,” he said.
“I really don’t know what happened,” Cerda said. “All I know is he’s gone, and only God knows why.”
He added that his friend was not a reckless driver.
In addition to his wife, the driver of the Honda is survived by a young daughter, Cerda said.
He worked as a machinist, Ayala added.
The woman driving the Sentra and another woman who was riding as her passenger were also hospitalized in serious condition following the crash, sheriff’s officials said. Their ages and cities of residence were withheld.
Though deputies from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station initially responded to the crash, it was ultimately determined to be just inside the Industry border.
The investigation is being handled by traffic deputies assigned to the sheriff’s Industry Station.
PICO RIVERA — A roofer sustained critical injuries when he fell off an apartment roof Thursday.
The incident in the 800 block of Washington Boulevard was reported to firefighters at 3:45 p.m.
The man suffered major head trauma and was flown by helicopter to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, according to Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Brian Jones.
The injured man was described as a Latino in his 50s.
- Ruby Gonzales
Coroner’s officials Saturday identified a 60-year-old La Puente woman killed in a wrong-way collision involving a school bus.
Orieta Noriega died in the crash, which was reported about 12:50 p.m. Friday on westbound Beverly Boulevard near the 605 Freeway, on the border between Whittier and Pico Rivera, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said. Though initially described by California Highway Patrol officials as a Los Angeles residents, coroner’s officials listed her city of residence as La Puente.
Her car was on the wrong side of the road when it collided with a 2010 Lexus IS 250 and a school bus carrying 10 students from La Serna High School, CHP Sgt. Joe Zizi said in a written statement.
She was driving a 2009 Toyota Camry east on Beverly Boulevard when, “For reasons still under investigation, (Noriega) allowed her Toyota to veer into westbound lanes, directly in front of the school bus and the Lexus,” Zizi said.
Paramedics pronounced Noriega dead at the scene.
All ten high school students aboard the Pupil Transportation Cooperative bus, as well as the driver — a 46-year-old La Habra woman — were unharmed, officials said.
A 63-year-old Montebello woman who was behind the wheel of the Lexus was treated for minor injuries, Zizi said.
Authorities shut down Beverly Boulevard around the crash scene for about three hours as they investigated the scene.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by officers from the Santa Fe Springs office of the CHP.
PICO RIVERA — A report of a suspicious package prompted the evacuation of a bus terminal Thursday before officials determined the box was empty, authorities said.
Someone reported seeing a brown cardboard box that seemed out of place behind a building at a Montebello Bus Lines terminal at Passons Boulevard and Jackson Street about noon, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The package was described as a plain-looking carboard box, about 18 inches by 12 inches in size, sheriff’s Sgt. Marco Soto said.
Officials evacuated the terminal and were beginning evacuations of nearby homes when deputies from the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail used a robot to determine the box was empty, the sergeant said.
The all-clear was sounded about 1:30 p.m.