A 21-year-old man was sentenced to 90 years to life in prison for fatally shooting one man and trying to kill a second man near the railroad tracks in Santa Fe Springs in 2009.
Jose Zapata’s sentencing was held Tuesday at Norwalk Superior Court.
On Oct. 4, a jury convicted Zapata of the first-degree murder of 18-year-old Jonathan Gonzalez of Corning and the attempted murder of then 19-year-old Julio Serrano of Whittier, according to District Attorney spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales.
She said jurors found true the allegations the crimes were committed for the benefit of a street gang, that Zapata personally fired a handgun and used a gun.
The jury also found true the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery, murder during the commission of a carjacking and gang-murder, Davila-Morales said.
Zapata, who was 17 when the murder occurred, was tried as an adult. Whittier police said he was from West Covina at the time of his arrest.
The other defendant in the case, 22-year-old Erick Rodriguez of Whittier, was acquitted of the charges on Oct. 4., she said.
Whittier police said the shooting happened near the railroad tracks, just west of the 8900 block of Dice Road in Santa Fe Springs.
Officers checking out a call about gunfire at 12:20 a.m. Dec. 8, 2009, found the two victims.
Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene. The wounded Serrano was located on Dice Road and taken to a hospital.
Rodriguez and Zapata were identified as suspects in the shooting and arrested.
- Ruby Gonzales
POMONA — Rescuers rushed a teenage girl to the hospital following a shooting Saturday morning, authorities said.
The shooting was reported just before 11 a.m. in the 1000 block of Laurel Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Bernard Peters said.
The wounded girl was initially described as 14 years old, he said. Her condition was unknown.
Officials could not confirm initial reports from the scene that she had been wounded in the chest by a shotgun blast.
Paramedics flew the wounded victim to a trauma center via helicopter for treatment.
Romen Hines, 19, a U.S. Marine in town while on holiday leave, said he and others rushed to aid the wounded girl.
She was lying in the middle of the street, he said.
“She had all kinds of little pellets in her,” Hines said.
No suspects were in custody, and description of the shooter or shooters was available, Pomona police Lt. Eddie Vazquez said. The circumstances of the shooting also remained under investigation.
Detectives continued canvassing the neighborhood and checking nearby surveillance cameras for clues Saturday afternoon.
No further details were available.
Anyone with information can reach the Pomona Police Department Detective Bureau at 909-620-2095.
NORWALK — Deputies found no one injured late Wednesday following a shoot-out between two vehicles in a residential neighborhood, officials said.
The shooting was reported about 10:30 p.m. in the area of Angell Street and McRae Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Jason Skeen said.
Witnesses reported gunmen inside a gray sedan and a green pickup truck trading fire, the lieutenant said. Bullet casings were found in the area, however no gunshot victims were found either at the scene or at area hospitals, Skeen said.
Further details were not immediately available.
LA MIRADA — Coroner’s officials Wednesday released the name of a Norwalk man found shot to death near a La Mirada bus stop Sunday evening.
Frank Mario Sainz, 46, was pronounced dead shortly after he was found lying in a pool of blood about 6:10 p.m. Sunday in the 14300 block of Alondra Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Capt. John Kades said.
An autopsy determined he died from “multiple gunshot wounds,” Kades said. The death was ruled a homicide.
He was believed to have been seated on a bus stop bench when he was shot, according to Lot. Dave Coleman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. He was first spotted early Sunday by a bus driver.
No information regarding a shooter or a motive was available.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
SAN GABRIEL — A man was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after shooting himself in the head in front of police in a parking lot, authorities said.
The incident, which was being investigated as an attempted suicide, took place about 4:10 p.m. in a parking lot to the rear of the 800 block of East Las Tunas Drive, just east of San Gabriel Boulevard, San Gabriel police Lt. Andy Borrello said.
Police officers responded to reports of a man with a gun, the lieutenant said. “They encountered a despondent male holding handgun to his head.”
The man, who would not speak to police, then pulled the trigger, Borrello said.
Though he suffered a serious head wound, he was conscious when taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for treatment, he said. An update on the man’s condition was not available, nor was his age.
PASADENA — A man showed up at a Pasadena emergency room with a gunshot to his foot late Saturday, officials said.
The man arrived at a hospital about 11:45 p.m. and said he had been shot, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
He told investigators he had been shot in the area of Mar Vista Avenue and Villa Street, but provided no further details of what had taken place, the lieutenant said.
Police received no reports of a shooting near Mar Vista and Villa, though they did respond to a report of “shots fired” shortly after 10 p.m. in the area of Fair Oaks Avenue and Cedar Street.
Officers responded to the neighborhood after reports of shots heard, accompanied by the sound of a car speeding away, Clawson said. No victims or suspects were found at the scene.
Police were looking into the possibility the wounded man may have been related to the reported shooting along Fair Oaks, he added. The investigation was being handled by gang detectives.
PASADENA — A man suffered a wound to his shoulder in a Pasadena shooting early Sunday, but did not appear to be cooperating with investigators regarding the attack, police said.
Officer responded about 12:45 a.m. to reports of gunshots heard in the Washington Boulevard and Marengo Avenue when they found a 24-year-old Pasadena man sitting along the curb with a gunshot wound to his shoulder, Pasadena police Lt. Randell Taylor said. The injury was not considered life-threatening.
His bullet-riddled car was came to a rest on the porch of a Marengo Avenue home, but did not strike the house, Taylor said.
The shooting victim gave police little information, the lieutenant said.
“He said hew as driving down the street and someone was shooting at him,” the lieutenant said. “He did not give us a description.”
Bullet casings were found nearby, Taylor added.
A motive in the shooting was not clear.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.
PASADENA — A car and an occupied house were struck by gunfire early Sunday in Northwest Pasadena, though police found no gunshot victims, officials said.
Officers responded about 3:10 a.m. to multiple reports of “shots fired” at Garfield Avenue and Douglass Street, Pasadena police Lt. Tom Delgado said.
“They canvassed the area and found bullet casings on the street,” the lieutenant said. “A vehicle and residence were struck by gunfire.”
The home was occupied at the time of the shooting, however no one was found injured from the shooting either at the scene or at area hospitals, Delgado said.
A small, tan sedan was seen driving away from the area at the time of the shooting, he added.
A driver allegedly shot at two sheriff’s deputies on the westbound 60 Freeway Wednesday night.
The deputies weren’t injured.
Previously convicted felon Jesus Navarro, 20, was being held in lieu of $1.07 million bail Thursday at the sheriff’s Industry Station, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records. His city of residence was not available.
Lt. Ray Enriquez said the deputies saw a pickup truck speeding on Fairway Drive in Industry at 10:22 p.m. The patrol car followed the vehicle to the 60 Freeway.
He said the deputies tried to pull over the driver on the westbound 60 near the Azusa Avenue off-ramp. The driver fired at the patrol car and took off.
The pickup, described as a silver or gray Toyota Tacoma, was later spotted by the California Highway Patrol. It was stopped on the 91 Freeway near the 605 Freeway, Enriquez said.
Enriquez said the driver was arrested for attempted murder of peace officers and felony evading.
Deputies also recovered a weapon believed used in the shooting.
The westbound 60 Freeway was shut down from Azusa Avenue to Fairway Drive while deputies looked for evidence.
According to Los Angeles Superior Court records, Navarro was convicted in December of 2012 of possession of an assault weapon in Compton Superior Court.
- Staff report
PASADENA – Two gunmen opened fire in a neighborhood Wednesday night and damaged three vehicles.
Pasadena Police didn’t find anyone injured in the shooting. Officers also checked at hospitals,
Gunfire erupted on Tremont Street and Navarro Avenue at 11:11 p.m.
Sgt. Greg Afsharian said two men were seen shooting in the street. The suspects then got into a waiting dark-colored vehicle and left.
Officers found a lot of bullet casings and three parked cars that had been hit by rounds, according to the sergeant.
The suspects were only described a two black men in their early 20s.
“It’s unknown who their target was,” Afsharian said.
- Ruby Gonzales