Suicide suspected after man found shot to death in West Whittier


WEST WHITTIER >> Suicide is suspected after a man was found fatally shot inside a car in the parking lot of a West Whittier motel early Sunday, authorities said.
A witness called for help about 6:30 a.m. after noticing a man in his mid-40s sitting unresponsive inside a car parked outside the Travelodge Whittier, 11530 Whittier Blvd. in the unincorporated county area, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
A gun was found at the scene, and a review of video surveillance footage indicated the man had taken his own life, according to the lieutenant. There were no initial signs of foul play.
Coroner’s officials will conduct an autopsy.

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Two wounded in Pasadena shooting


PASADENA >> A shooting in Pasadena early Saturday left two men wounded, one of them critically, police said.
The shooting was first reported at 12:34 a.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 400 block of Parke Street, just north of Villa Parke, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Police received several calls reporting gunfire before encountering two men lying wounded in the street.
One of the victims, a man in his late-teens, was hospitalized in critical condition, police said. The second victim, a man in his 30s, suffered injuries not considered to be life-threatening.
“The preliminary investigation suggests this was not a random act of violence, and the motive remains unknown,” according to the statement. “Suspects have not been identified.”
No further details were available.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Men sentenced to life in prison for fatal shooting of Hong Kong man during robbery in West Covina


WEST COVINA >> A judge sent two men to prison for the rest of their lives on Friday for fatally shooting a man visiting the U.S. from Hong Kong during a robbery after following him and his brother to a West Covina restaurant from a downtown Los Angeles jewelry store, authorities said.
Michael Quiroga Castiblanco, 25, and Juan Alejandro Cortez, 28, each received sentenced of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Feb. 1, 2013, murder of 29-year-old Sheron Khemlani in a parking lot in the 100 block of North Barranca Avenue in West Covina, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
A jury convicted them Monday of first-degree murder and second-degree robbery, along with the special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed during a robbery, and the special allegation that a gun was used in the crime, Ardalani said in a written statement.
“According to evidence presented at trial, the two defendants were part of an organized criminal group that targeted jewelers and individuals who made large cash withdrawals from banks,” Ardalani said. “Moreover,the group followed the Khemlani brothers from downtown Los Angeles to West Covina with the intent to rob them.”
Khemlani and his 32-year-old brother were in the jewelry industry and visiting from Hong Kong at the time of the slaying.
They had gone just conducted some business in the jewelry district in downtown Los Angeles prior to the fatal robbery, Ardalani said.
They were on their way to Las Vegas, but decided to stop in West Covina for lunch, according to police and prosecutors.
“When the brothers returned to their vehicle, they were attacked by a group of men,” Ardalani said. “During the assault, Sheron Khemlani was fatally shot in the head before the attackers fled the scene in a vehicle.”
The victim’s brother was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
Stolen was a bag containing $9,000, Ardalani said.
The case remained unsolved for more than a year until investigators identified Castiblanco and Cortez as suspects in the deadly robbery, officials said. Detectives released composite sketches of the suspects in hopes of generating leads prior to the apprehension of the killers.
Prosecutors filed charges against them in March of 2014, and they were both arrested in May of 2014, records show.
Details of the suspect’s capture were not available.
Castiblanco also has a pending case with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to booking records.
West Covina, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Torrance, Cypress and Evanston, Illinois, police took part in the investigation, as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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Glendora man guilty of crime spree including San Marino home-invasion robbery, Glendora shooting

A jury convicted a 26-year-old Glendora man of attempted murder, robbery, burglary and a host of other criminal charges on Wednesday for a 2015 crime spree including a home-invasion robbery in San Marino and a shooting in Glendora, authorities said.
A Pomona jury deliberated for one day for finding Clayton Ruben Addleman guilty of 13 criminal charges, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani. He was convicted of three counts of burglary with a person present, attempted murder, residential robbery, grant theft auto, grand theft, identity theft, forgery related to identity theft, assault with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and petty theft. Jurors also found true the special allegations that Addleman personally used a firearm in the crimes.
He faces a maximum penalty of 52 years to life in state prison when he returns to the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing on Aug. 3, Ardalani said in a written statement.
Prosecutors said Addleman shot at, but did not strike, another man in his hometown of Glendora on Dec. 27, 2015.
“During the investigation, law enforcement believed Addleman may have been the suspected shooter,” Ardalani said. “Two days later, police located the defendant and took him into custody.”
Investigators soon found that Addleman was also responsible for a home-invasion robbery that occurred on Dec. 29, 2015, at a home in the 500 block of Huntington Drive in San Marino.
In that crime, “Addleman armed himself with a handgun, broke into the San Marino home while the residents were inside and then attempted to steal the victims’ vehicle before ultimately fleeing the scene,” according to Ardalani.
A terrified female resident hid in the closet during the home invasion, San Marino police officials said.
When arresting Addleman, police discovered ammunition, as well as checks and identifying documents in the names of other people, Ardalani said.
Addleman was already on probation stemming from another criminal case when he was arrested in connection with the current one.
He was convicted of possession of drugs for sales and possession of a firearm in by a felon in July of 2015, three months after police searched his Starcrest Drive home and discovered two rifles, four handguns, ammunition, 1,000 Xanax pills and a scale, Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said at the time. Investigators has gone to his home to serve a warrant related to a previous conviction for possession of illegal fireworks in 2014.
Addleman received 180 days in jail and three years of probation for the 2015 gun and drug case, court records show.

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2 men sentenced for roles in 2015 Pasadena shooting


PASADENA >> Two men have received lengthy prison terms for the gang-related shooting of another man outside a Pasadena chicken restaurant in late 2015, officials said.
Robert “Chucky” Julio Arnaud, 28, of Los Angeles received 60 years to life in state prison on Wednesday for the Dec. 29, 2015, drive-by shooting outside a restaurant in the 800 block of North Lake Avenue, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
A jury convicted him May 12 of attempted murder in connection with the shooting, which officials said targeted rival gang members, according to Pasadena police officials and prosecutors. The jury also found true the special allegations that Arnaud personally sued a gun in the crime, and that the crime was gang-related.
A 21-year-old man was wounded in the leg in the shooting, and a 19-year-old man escaped injury, police said.
Detectives found and arrested Arnaud in connection with the shooting the following day.
They also arrested Jose “Flaco” Garcia, 34, of Azusa, on suspicion of trying to help Arnaud conceal the crime.
Garcia pleaded “no contest” on Tuesday to one count of acting as an accessory to the shooting after the fact and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, according to Santiago.
Officials caught Garcia in the process of Washing Arnaud’s car the day after the shooting, “to remove any gunshot residue from the inside and outside of the vehicle,” Santiago said.
Following his plea, Garcia was immediately sentenced to 17 years and four months in state prison. If convicted at trial, Garcia could have faced a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.

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Woman charged with murder in fatal Pasadena shooting


PASADENA >> Prosecutors filed a murder charge Wednesday against a woman accused of fatally shooting another woman during a dispute over the weekend in Pasadena, officials said.
Theretha Howard, 58, entered no plea during her appearance in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, where she was charged with one count of murder, along with the special allegation that she personally used a handgun in the killing, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said. Her arraignment hearing was continued to July 20 in downtown Los Angeles.
The fatal shooting was reported about 1:30 a.m. along Peoria Street, just west of Fair Oaks Avenue.
Katoya King, 44, of Pasadena died following the shooting, according to Pasadena police and Los Angeles County coroner officials.
The suspects knew each other prior to the shooting, Pasadena police Lt. Jesse Carrillo said, but police didn’t know what their relationship was.
Both went to a Peoria Avenue residence believed to be the home of a mutual acquaintance, the lieutenant said.
“There was a dispute that occurred that led our suspect to get agitated to the point where she pulled a gun,” he said.
Police believe Howard shot King once in the chest before fleeing the scene, Carrillo said.
The wounded woman managed to make her way out to the street, officials said. She walked south for half a block along the sidewalk before collapsing.
The wounded woman’s screams for help caught the attention of neighbors, who called 911, Carrillo said. But no one reported hearing the gunfire.
Paramedics rushed King to a hospital, where she died from her injuries at 4:31 a.m., coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
Carrillo said the victim was able to give a “very limited” statement to police before losing consciousness.
Investigators found a handgun discarded in the area of the crime scene. Ballistics tests were pending to determined whether the gun was the same one involved in the deadly shooting.
Detectives remained at the shooting through Saturday afternoon.
“Subsequent detective investigation” and “information that was shared with the detectives” led investigators to identify Howard as a person of interest. Detectives found her at her Pasadena home and arrested her on suspicion of King’s murder following an interview.
According to county booking records, Howard was being held in lieu of $2 million bail.

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Pasadena woman jailed in connection with deadly shooting


PASADENA >> Police have arrested one Pasadena woman in connection with the fatal shooting of another this weekend.
Police arrested Teretha Howard, 58 of Pasadena Saturday afternoon on suspicion of murder, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said in a written statement.
The victim, whose identity has not yet been released, was found about 1:45 a.m. Saturday lying wounded on the sidewalk along Peoria Street, just west of Fair Oaks Avenue, authorities said. She was taken to a hospital, where she succumbed to her wounds just under three hours later.
“Follow-up investigation led detectives to a suspect, Teretha Howard, who was arrested and booked for murder,” Luna said. “Due to a preexisting medical condition, she was transported to a local hospital.”
A motive in the shooting was not available, nor was the suspect’s relationship to the victim, described as a Pasadena woman in her 40s.
Public records indicate Howard lives in a Raymond Avenue apartment complex about a quarter-mile away from the scene of the shooting.
Detectives arrested Howard shortly after 3:30 p.m., Los Angeles County booking records show.
She was being held in lieu of $2 million bail pending her initial court appearance.

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Woman found fatally shot on Pasadena sidewalk


PASADENA >> A woman died after she was found shot on a Pasadena sidewalk early Saturday, authorities said.
The woman was found about 1:45 a.m., lying wounded in the 00 block of West Peoria Street, Pasadena police officials said.
“Pasadena Fire Department paramedics arrived and transported the victim to a local hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries,” police said in a written statement.
The woman’s identity has not yet released pending notifiication of her family, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said. Police initially described her as a Pasadena woman in her 40s.
Doctors pronounced her dead at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena at 4:31 a.m., Smith said.
Further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting, including a suspect description, were not available.
Police received no reports of gunfire before the victim was found wounded, according to Lt. William Grisafe.
“We did not get any shots fired calls,” he said.
Detectives remained at the scene gathering clues Saturday afternoon.
Investigators focused their attention on the backyard of a home, which was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape.
No one answered the door at the home on the property. Neighbors declined to comment.
Anyone with information is urged to contact 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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Celebratory gunfire strikes swimming pool as man and daughter swim in Azusa, moving car in Pasadena


At least three people narrowly avoided injury in recent days after “celebratory gunfire” struck an Azusa swimming pool where a father and daughter were swimming on Tuesday evening, then another struck a moving car in Pasadena on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
A bullet apparently fired in celebration struck an above-ground swimming pool in the 200 block of East Roland Street as a man and his daughter were swimming in it between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Independence Day, according to Azusa police Officer Mike Bires.
*Video: Azusa police discuss swimming pool shooting
Neither the man nor the girl, who was approximately 8 years old, were hurt, he said.
“This is why you do not shoot a firearm up into the sky during celebrations, like 4th of July or New Year’s Eve,” Bires said.
“A father and his daughter were in the pool yesterday for 4th of July,” the officer said. “If the had bullet struck the child or the father, someone would have innocently been murdered on a holiday… Why? It’s not worth it. Just don’t do it.
The homeowner did not realized what had happened until the next day, Bires said. The man was looking for the cause of a leak on Wednesday when he discovered the 9mm or .40-caliber bullet at the bottom of the pool.
In another incident blamed on celebratory gunfire, a woman was “shaken up” but uninjured after her car was struck by a falling bullet fire up into the air in Pasadena on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The incident took place just after 5:45 p.m. as the woman was driving her Nissan Altima along the 800 block of Magnolia Street, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said.
A 9mm bullet plummeted from the sky and struck the roof of the car, the lieutenant said. The driver thought they were being attacked, before officers ultimately pieced together what had taken place.
The bullet dented the car’s roof and punched a small hole, but did not manage to penetrate through the body of the car, Hettema said. Police found the projectile sitting atop the car.
There was no sign of where the gunshot originated, he said. Bullets fired skyward can easily travel more than a mile before falling back to earth.

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Woman’s car struck by falling bullet in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A woman was “shaken up” but uninjured after her car was struck by a falling bullet fire up into the air in Pasadena on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The incident took place just after 5:45 p.m. as the woman was driving her Nissan Altima along the 800 block of Magnolia Street, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said.
A 9mm bullet plummeted from the sky and struck the roof of the car, the lieutenant said. The driver thought they were being attacked, before officers ultimately pieced together what had taken place.
The bullet dented the car’s roof and punched a small hole, but did not manage to penetrate through the body of the car, Hettema said. Police found the projectile sitting atop the car.
There was no sign of where the gunshot originated, he said. Bullets fired skyward can easily travel more than a mile before falling back to earth.

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