Man suspected of fatally shooting woman, wounding self in South San Gabriel

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SOUTH SAN GABRIEL — A man is accused of fatally shooting the mother of their 2-year-old son early Sunday before shooting and wounding himself, authorities said.
The man and woman were in their early- 20s, according to friends and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials. Authorities did not release their names.
The woman died at the scene of the 7:35 a.m. shooting at a house on Celito Drive at San Gabriel Boulevard, sheriff’s Sgt. Jorge Marchena said. Her body lay just outside the rear door of the home, covered by a tarp.
Deputies first responded to the home after another man inside, described by friends as the wounded man’s grandfather, called 9-1-1 to report a shooting, Marchena said. The man was not injured.
“Homicide detectives have since learned that both victims were involved in a relationship and had a child together,” Sgt. Michael Thomas of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement. “The incident is currently being investigated as a murder-attempted suicide.”
SSGSHOTING2No children were believed to be at the house at the time of the shooting, Marchena said.
As sheriff’s and coroner’s officials investigated the scene, a woman who identified herself as a family member of one of the involved people arrived, desperate for information.
“That’s my brother. Please tell me,” she asked of the deputies.
After a brief discussion with a deputy, the woman erupted into tears.
“Oh God, no, she screamed, as two deputies tried to comfort her.
The man and woman shot in the suspected murder-suicide attempt were separated, but had a boy together, said Zully San Inocencio, 20, of Baldwin Park, who said she had been a friend of the wounded man for about three years. She said she did not know the woman well.
The night before the shooting, both attended a birthday party in Montebello for their son, she said.
While San Inocencio said she the couple would sometimes have spats like any other couple, she never saw anything that made her concerned.
“It never got physical, just like little arguments,” she said.
Inocencio and a neighbor who declined to give his name said they were shocked to learn detectives believed the young father was responsible for the shooting.
Inocencio said she had never known the man, who worked at a Hollywood medical marijuana dispensary, to have a temper.
“He’s very calm and collected,” the friend said.
“It just hurts,” Inocencio said upon learning officials suspected the man as the shooter. “It’s just said.” She said she was concerned for the well being of the couples toddler.
The neighbor said everything appeared normal when he last saw the man about 1 p.m. Saturday, when he mentioned he was going to his son’s birthday party.
“I never thought he would do that,” he said.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were handling the investigation, and anyone with information was asked to contact them at 323-890–5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously by contacting L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTO (above) –  Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials investigate the scene where a woman was fatally shot and a man was wounded in an alleged murder-suicide attempt early Sunday, July 28, 2013, on Celito Drive at San Gabriel Boulevard.

PHOTO (below) – Sheriff’s deputies comfort a grieving family member at the scene where a woman was fatally shot and a man was wounded in an alleged murder-suicide attempt early Sunday, July 28, 2013, on Celito Drive at San Gabriel Boulevard.

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San Gabriel Police Officers’ Association golf tournament planned next month

SAN DIMAS — The San Gabriel Police Officers’ Association is preparing to host its annual Badges of Courage golf tournament next month in San Dimas, officials said.
The 5th annual tournament will take place Aug. 9 at the San Dimas Canyon Golf Course, 2100 Terrebonne Avenue, according to San Gabriel police Officer Vince Salazar. Check-in will begin at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start to follow at 1 p.m.
The entry fee is $125 per golfer and includes lunch, refreshments, the use of a golf cart with GPS and dinner. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place teams in categories including longest drive, closest to the pin an accurate drive, organizers said.
The event will include raffle prized, a live auction and celebrity guests.
Following the tournament, a dinner will be held at Zendeja’s Mexican Restaurant, 665 W. Arrow Highway in San Dimas. Non-golfing guests can join in the dinner for $25 each.
In addition to benefitting the San Gabriel Police Officers’ Association, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to local community organizations.
For more information or to sign up, contact Officer Salazar at 626-422-9052, email events@sangabrielpoa.com, or visit www.sangabrielpoa.com.

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San Gabriel police officer injured in Canyon Country motorcycle crash

SAN GABRIEL — A San Gabriel police motorcycle officer suffered injuries in a crash in Canyon Country early Wednesday, authorities said.
Officer Steven Rodrigues was injured in the crash, San Gabriel police Lt. Chris Ortell said.
The crash took place about 6:48 a.m. on Whites Canyon Road at Ranier Street, Lt. Mark Hershey of the sheriff’s Santa Clarita Station said.
The 35-year-old officer, who was on his way to work at the San Gabriel Police Department on a department motorcycle, suffered a broken leg, a broken foot and a possible minor concussion, the lieutenant said. The injured officer was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
“The information given to me was that he was not critical,” Ortell said.
The officer was southbound Whites Canyon Road when he collided with a sedan that made a left turn in front of him from northbound Whites Canyon Road to Ranier Street, Hershey said.
The woman, a Santa Clarita resident of about 60 years old, was examined by paramedics but not believed to be significantly injured, he said.
No crime was initially suspected in what was being investigated as an accident, Hershey said.

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Police checkpoint planned tonight in San Gabriel

SAN GABRIEL — Police are planning a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint tonight, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. this evening through 3 a.m. Sunday morning at an undisclosed location within San Gabriel, San Gabriel police officials said in a written 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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Arcadia woman arrested after lengthy chase across the San Gabriel Valley

SAN GABRIEL — An Arcadia woman is accused of leading San Gabriel police and a high speed chase that traversed the San Gabriel Valley twice over more than an hour late Saturday, authorities said.
Jennifer McElhaney, 25, was booked on suspicion of auto theft and felony evading of police after she was ultimately ditched the car and was found hiding in a residential neighborhood in Covina, San Gabriel police Lt. Tony Hernandez said.
The incident began when San Gabriel police officer spotted a car that had been reported stolen parked in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy at San Gabriel Boulevard and Las Tunas Drive, Hernandez said.
Officers watched as a woman, later identified as McElhaney, got into the car and began driving, he said.
“We attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle,” Hernandez said. “She fled.”
The chase reached speeds in excess of 100 mph at times as McElhaney led officers down the 10, 101, 110 and 210 Freeways to Pasadena, he said.
McElhaney then headed east on the 210 Freeway, exited Vernon Avenue in Azusa and continued on surface streets through Covina and West Covina, Hernandez said.
She managed to get back on the 210 Freeway and headed back to Pasadena, before again turning around and driving back into Covina, police said.
The car chase came to an end when McElhaney abandoned the car in the 200 block of Benbow Street in Covina and continued to flee on foot, Hernandez said. She was found hiding in the area a little more than 20 minutes later.
According to county booking records, McElhaney was being held in lieu of $130,500 bail pending her initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Alhambra Superior Court.

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Detectives investigate death of woman at East San Gabriel home

EAST SAN GABRIEL — Sheriff’s and coroner’s investigators are looking into the death of an elderly woman whose body was found inside a home.
Though an autopsy was pending, foul play was not initially suspected, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Capt. Christopher Nee said.
The body of the woman, initially described only as elderly, was discovered about 8 p.m. in a house in the 5900 block of North Del Loma Avenue, in the unincorporated county area of East San Gabriel, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
She had not been identified Saturday, as the body was already in a state of decomposition when found, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
A woman who lives at the home had not been seen for several weeks when concerned neighbors called the sheriff’s Temple Station and asked deputies to check on her, sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
Deputies discovered the body and summoned homicide investigators, who determined the death appeared to be due to natural causes, Nee said. Coroner’s investigators will perform an examination to determine the woman’s officials cause of death.

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Officials: Suspect shot by El Monte police in San Gabriel backed truck toward police

SAN GABRIEL — A man shot and wounded by El Monte police at the end of a pursuit in San Gabriel was backing a stolen delivery truck toward officers when they opened fire, authorities said Saturday.
The name of the suspect wounded in Friday’s 4:40 a.m. shooting on Leslie Drive, just west of San Marino Avenue in San San Gabriel, was not released by investigators. A second suspect not identified by authorities was also arrested in connection with the alleged truck theft.
Prior to the officer-involved shooting, officials said the two suspects stole a large box truck that was making a delivery to a 7-Eleven store in the 12100 block of Ramona Boulevard in El Monte, officials said.
El Monte police spotted the truck on the 10 Freeway and began a pursuit when it failed to pull over, Deputy Peter Gomez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement. The truck exited the freeway at Temple City Boulevard and crashed into several parked cars as the chase continued through Rosemead.
The truck briefly came to a stop on Guess Street, at which point one of the suspects got out and surrendered to police, Gomez said. But the other suspect then continued driving, leading officers into San Gabriel.
“When the suspect turned onto West Leslie Drive in San Gabriel, he stopped the stolen truck when he saw spike strips had been deployed,” according to Gomez. “The officers ordered the suspect to turn the vehicle off numerous times. The suspect did not comply and instead put the truck in reverse and started backing toward the officers, trying to hit them. At that time an officer-involved shooting took place.”
The wounded suspect was hospitalized in stable condition, while the other suspect was booked at the El Monte Police Department.
No officers were injured, officials said.

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Suspect shot by El Monte police in San Gabriel

El Monte police shot and wounded a suspect in San Gabriele arly Friday after he led them on a pursuit in a stolen delivery truck, authorities said.
The officer-involved shooting took place about 4:40 a.m. at San Marino Avenue and Leslie Drive, Deputy Don Walker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement.
The suspect was hospitalized and expected to survive, officials said.
No officers were injured in the incident, Walker said.
The suspect had allegedly stolen a large box truck from a 7-Eleven store in the 12100 block of Ramona Boulevard in El Monte, officials said. Officers spotted the truck on the 10 Freeway, initiating a pursuit that ended at the scene of the shooting in San Gabriel.
Information regarding what prompted police to open fire was not available early Friday as the investigation continued.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were spearheading the investigation, as is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings involving Los Angeles County police agencies.

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VIDEO: Alhambra burlgary suspects arrested, driver possibly carjacked in San Gabriel

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Alhambra police are seeking a possible carjacking victim after arresting four burglary suspects earlier this week, officials said.
The incident, part of which was captured by a police car’s dashboard camera, began about 11 a.m. Tuesday when officers responded to a report of a residential break-in in the 500 block of West Ramona Road, Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
Four suspects were jailed on suspicion of burglary in connection with the incident, however police were hoping to track down a motorist who was possibly carjacked by one of the suspects, but left the scene before police could speak with him, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
The four suspects fled in a car before patrol officers arrived, however they were spotted and followed by a Pasadena Police Department helicopter, Johnson said.
With the helicopter-based officers watching, the fleeing vehicle drove to the area of Del Mar Avenue and Valley Boulevard, “where they exited the car and the four suspects fled in four different directions,” Johnson said.
One of the fleeing suspects — later identified as 18-year-old Donald Trotter of Los Angeles — got into the passenger seat of a blue or gray car occupied by an older Asian man, the sergeant said.
The vehicle began driving, however it was not clear Sunday whether the driver willingly gave the young man a ride without realizing he was fleeing from police, or was ordered to drive by the suspect, which would bring an additional charge of carjacking.
As a dashboard video camera rolled, a responding Alhambra police officer was heading toward the area when he spotted the blue-gray vehicle, officials said.
The burglary suspect exited the car and jumped into a nearby wash, injuring himself in the process, Johnson said.
“He fell about 30 feet and broke his ankle pretty badly,” he said. The suspect was quickly taken into custody, as were the other three.
Meanwhile, the driver of the blue-gray car also exited the vehicle and began pointing police toward the suspect, authorities added.
“The male Asian then left the scene before officers could interview him,” according to the police statement.
The older man was not suspected of participating in the burglary, police added, but officers wanted to talk to him to determined whether he was the victim of carjacking.
“He was either duped, or a victim. Either way, we’d like to know,” Johnson said.
In addition to Trotter, police arrested Steve Gainer, 29, of Paramount; Morgan Gardner, 19, of Downey; and a 17-year-old Los Angeles boy, Johnson said. All were booked on suspicion of burglary as the investigation into potential additional charges continued.
According to county booking records, Gardner was released from jail Tuesday on $50,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, while Gainer was released Thursday after posting $56,000 bail. Trotter was hospitalized for treatment of his ankle injury prior to booking.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Alhambra police Detective Corey Fukumoto at 626-308-4845.

VIDEO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department

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Man sought for attempted kidnapping of teenage girl in San Gabriel

SAN GABRIEL — Police are seeking a man who tried to kidnap a 16-year-old girl from the front of a family member’s home earlier this week, authorities said.
The girl escaped unharmed from the man, who grabbed onto her 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 1900 block of South Jackson Avenue, near Ramona Boulevard, San Gabriel police Lt. Brian Kott said.
Prior to the incident, she had been sitting on the east curb of Jackson Avenue near the home of a family member, police said in a written statement. She saw the suspect pass by her in his car, make a U-turn and pull over along the east curb.
The man got out of his car, and the girl became worried for her safety and began walking back to her family member’s home, which was beyond the man’s parked car, officials said.
“As the victim walked past the suspect, he stated, ‘You need to come with me,’ while simultaneously opening the rear passenger door of the vehicle,” according to the police statement.
“The suspect then forcible grabbed the victim by the collar, causing her to fall to the ground,” the statement continued. “As the victim tried to get back up, the suspect continued to grab at the victim’s feet while she kicked and struggled to get away.”
After breaking free of the man’s grasp, the ran back to her relative’s home, officials said, noting that the man followed beside her in his car for a short distance.
“No weapon was used or seen,” Kott said.
The lieutenant described the attacker as a Latino man in his late-30s, about 6 feet tall and of thin build. He had dark, wavy, shoulder-length hair and he wore a black jacket and blue jeans with holes in them.
He was driving a late-1990s-model black, four-door NIssan with tinted windows and chrome rims, Kott added.
While there was no indication Tuesday’s failed kidnapping was directly related to any other crime, Kott said it was worth noting that several other kidnappings and attempting kidnappings have been reported in the region over recent months, including incidents in Whittier and the San Fernando Valley.
Anyone with information on the San Gabriel incident was asked to contact San Gabriel police Detective Joseph Pelano at 626-308-2836, or the department’s dispatch center at 626-308-2828

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