ROSEMEAD >> Coroner’s officials have confirmed the death of a man who was found fatally shot inside a burning pickup truck was a suicide, as investigators initially suspected.
Paramedics pronounced the 53-year-old Rosemead man dead at the scene after he was pulled from parked and burning pickup truck early Saturday in the 8500 block of Olney Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said. It was soon found that the unconscious man had also been shot in the chest. A gun was recovered from inside the truck.
Deputies suspected the death to be a suicide, but summoned investigators from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Los Angeles County Department of Coroner to assist in the investigation, Sgt. Steve Ruiz of the sheriff’s Temple Station said.
But an autopsy confirmed officials’ initial suspicion, coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
The man died from a gunshot wound to the chest, and the death was ruled a suicide, he said.
ROSEMEAD >> A man died after deputies pulled from a burning pickup truck with a gunshot wound to his chest early Saturday in what was initially being investigated as a suicide, officials said.
A witness called 9-1-1 about 5:50 a.m. to report a parked pickup truck was on fire with the engine running near a plant nursery in the 8500 block of Olney Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. Deputies arrived to find the front of the truck in flames.
Seeing a person inside the small truck, deputies pushed back the flames with their fire extinguishers, broke a window and pulled the man out, the sergeant said.
Paramedics soon arrived to treat the man and discovered he had a gunshot wound to his chest, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation remained in its early stages, however all initial signs pointed to suicide, Ruiz said. A gun was found at the scene.
“Homicide and Arson-Explosives detectives are investigating the cause of the fire. They are not actively looking for a suspect,” according to Deputy Guillermina Saldana.
Anyone with information can reach the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
ROSEMEAD >> A driver struck and seriously injured a homeless man and his dog along Mission Drive in Rosemead before fleeing the scene early Saturday, officials said.
The 69-year-old man was pushing a cart along Mission Drive near Encinita Avenue when he was struck by a white sedan just before 4:30 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. James Long said.
The vehicle drove away, he said. No further description of the car or the driver was available.
Long said the victim suffered “very serious” injuries and was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for Treatment. His dog, a Chihuahua, was taken to a veterinarian for treatment as well.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> A Rosemead man died after he was struck by two vehicles, both of which fled the scene, while riding his bicycle along Rosemead Boulevard early Saturday, authorities said.
Los Angeles County coroner’s officials identified the victim as 47-year-old Heriberto Ruiz.
He died at the scene of the series of collisions that unfolded about 2:50 a.m. in the southbound lanes of Rosemead Boulevard, just north of the 60 Freeway, Officer T. Olson of the California Highway Patrol’s East Los Angeles Station said in a written statement.
The two vehicles that struck him and their drivers remained at large.
Ruiz was riding a bike in the right-hand lane when he was struck by an unknown vehicle, Olson said.
The initial impact was believed to be fatal, the officer said. No description of the vehicle that struck Ruiz was available.
Another driver stopped alongside Ruiz after spotting him lying in the roadway, Olson said. A white, late-2000s-model minivan then struck Ruiz and the stopped car before speeding away.
The driver of the stopped car was unhurt, CHP Officer Monica Posada said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the CHP’s East Los Angeles office at 323-980-4600.
ROSEMEAD >> The winner of a Powerball drawing who purchased the winning ticket in Septmeber at the Rosemead Supermarket has until 5 p.m. Thursday to claim a $1 million prize, California Lottery officials said.
Lottery officials have released store surveillance camera footage of the winner in hopes of tracking him down before the 180-day deadline to collect the prize. The ticket, purchased at the market, 8815 E. Valley Blvd., matched five numbers on the Sept. 13, 2014, Powerball drawing, officials said. The ticket bore the numbers 37, 6, 1, 53, and 16, missing only the Powerball number of 27. It won $1,098,624.
If the winner does not claim the prize by the deadline, “every penny of the unclaimed prize money is transferred to California public schools,” Lottery officials said in a written statement.
The Rosemead Supermarket received a bonus of $5,493, which amounts to one-half of one-percent of the prize, for selling the winning ticket, Lottery officials said.
The winner is advised to sign the back of the ticket in ink and keep it in a safe place and visit a local Lottery District Office as quickly as possible.
ROSEMEAD >> A sheriff’s patrol car responding to an emergency call collided with two other cars in Rosemead Friday, severely damaging the patrol car but resulting in no significant injuries, authorities said.
The crash took place about 11:30 a.m. on southbound San Gabriel Boulevard, just south of Garvey Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Loy McBride said.
A deputy had his patrol car’s emergency lights and sirens activated as he rushed to a report of a person not breathing, McBride said.
The patrol car collided with a Nissan Altima being driven by a 36-year-old women, then struck a parked car, the lieutenant said.
McBride said the deputy was examined at a hospital and released within hours. The woman at the wheel of the Nissan was unhurt.
The circumstances of the crash remained under investigation, however nothing criminal was initially suspected.
The Nissan involved in the crash was still driveable, however the patrol car sustained major damage and likely wouldn’t return to service, McBride said.
ROSEMEAD — A fire damaged two Rosemead homes early Sunday, displacing two families, authorities said.
Officials first received reports of the fire in the 2600 block of Gladys Avenue at 9:57 a.m., Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Melanie Flores said.
Firefighters encountered heavy smoke on arrival and found the fire was burning its way through two homes sitting next door to each other.
Officials declared the fire extinguished at 10:33 a.m., Flores said.
No injuries were reported, however both families occupying the scorched homes were displaces, she said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear.
LOS ANGELES >> Two used car dealing brothers from Rosemead and Los Angeles have begun serving three-year jail sentences after pleading “no contest” last week to evaded more than $1.5 million in sales tax, authorities announced Wednesday.
Dagoberto Duenas, 59, of Rosemead and Mario Ernesto Gonzalez, 53, of Los Angeles entered their pleas Dec. 2 in Los Angeles Superior Court, California Board of Equalization officials said in a written statement.
Each brother was sentenced to three years in prison, to be served in county jail, for failing to report income from auto sales between 2007 and 2009 at Los Angeles Used Car dealerships they owned, officials said.
“Duenas and Gonzalez owned and operated Space Auto Sales and Spin Auto Sales, respectively,” according to the BOE statement.
BOE officials began investigating the brothers in 2008, “…when it was discovered that they had failed to report a large amount of sales,” the statement said.
“Tax evasion is a serious crime and it is gratifying that these men will be held to account for depriving our state’s honest taxpayers of more than $1.5 million in services,” BOE Chairman Jerome E. Horton said.
Investigators determined Duenas had failed to report at least $12.3 million in taxable sales, resulting in more than $1 million in unreported sales tax, BOE officials said. Gonzalez failed to report almost $500,000 of sales tax.
ALHAMBRA >> A Rosemead man pleaded not guilty to murder Thursday following the fatal stabbing of a Monterey Park man last month, officials said.
Angel Octavion Garcia, 18, is accused of fatally stabbing Alhambra Parks and Recreation Department employee Edward Mendoza, 35, Oct. 14 in a parking lot in the 1700 block of Potrero Grande, near Arroyo Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
He entered his plea in Alhambra Superior Court, where he was ordered to return Jan. 9 for a preliminary hearing setting, Los Angeles County district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
“There are no indications the two men knew each other,” according to the statement. A motive for the slaying has not been released.
Mendoza called 9-1-1 to report he had been stabbed, Lt. John Corina of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. Investigators have declined to release further details of the 9-1-1.
Paramedics rushed Mendoza to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.
“Soon after the incident, a person came forward to police and identified Garcia as the assailant,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
Mendoza had worked a part-time recreation leader for the Alhambra Parks and Recreation Department since 2001, city officials said. Most recently, he served as a children’s football referee at Almansor Park in Alhambra.
Recently, Ray said Mendoza was refereeing football for the children at Almansor Park, 800 S. Almansor St. in Alhambra.
Sheriff’s investigators arrested Garcia Oct. 18, according to Los Angeles County booking records. He was being held in lieu of $1.025 million bail.
Loved ones have created a memorial video in tribute to Menoza at www.eddiemendoza.org.
ROSEMEAD >> One person died, another suffered major injuries and a man is accused of drunken driving and hit-and-run following a two-vehicle crash on a 10 Freeway offramp in Rosemead late Friday, officials said.
The crash took place about 11:15 p.m. on the Rosemead Boulevard offramp of the eastbound 10 Freeway, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
Two vehicle ended up down an embankment in the crash, CHP logs show.
The driver and passenger of one of the involved vehicles were seriously injured in the crash, CHP Officer Jennifer Cassidy said. The passenger died at a hospital, while the driver was hospitalized with serious injuries.
The driver of the second vehicle abandoned it at the scene and fled on foot, Cassidy said. He was arrested a short time later at his home on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving and hit-and-run, Cassidy said.
The suspect’s identity was not available Saturday, and no further details were released.
The Rosemead Boulevard offramp from the eastbound 10 Freeway remained shut down for nearly three hours following the crash, which is under investigation by officers from the CHP’s East Los Angeles office.