Two dead, two wounded after drive-by shooting targets homicide victim’s vigil in Pasadena

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PASADENA >> An attacker or attackers opened fire into a group of people gathered at a homicide victim’s vigil in Pasadena late Friday, leaving two men dead and two other victims wounded, police said.
The deadly drive-by shooting took place at 11:53 p.m. at Fair Oaks Avenue and Claremont Street, as a group of people was gathered for a vigil for the victim of a previous fatal shooting that took place in the same neighborhood on Dec. 22, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“Unknown suspects shot from a vehicle into the group gathered for the vigil,” he said. “Four people were shot.”
A 24-year-old Pasadena man was found wounded around the corner on Pepper Street and pronounced dead at the street, officials said.
A 37-year-old Pasadena woman wounded by the gunfire managed to make her way across the street to a Pasadena Fire Department Station 36, where paramedics treated her before taking her to a hospital. She was listed in critical condition.
Two additional gunshot victims, a 24-year-old man and a 25-year-old man, were placed into a private car by others who were at the vigil, Goodman said.
A woman attempted to drive the men to a hospital, but became involved in a crash at California Boulevard and St. John Avenue, authorities said. The car struck another car before hitting a fixed object.
Authorities responding to the crash scene pronounced the 24-year-old gunshot victim dead at the scene, Goodman said. The second wounded man was hospitalized in stable condition.
The woman at the wheel of the car was treated for non-life-threatening injuries suffered in the crash.
The identities of the men who died in the shooting were not available Saturday pending positive identification and notification of their families, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
No suspect description was available, nor was a description of the vehicle from which the shots were fired, Goodman said. The motive in the attack was also unclear.
“We are having difficulty locating cooperative witnesses,” Goodman said.
The vigil came in the wake of the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Brandon Douglas of Pasadena.
He died after he was found lying wounded on a sidewalk in the 1200 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue, according to Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian. No suspect description or motive was known.
And the violence did not end Friday night.
Police returned to the same neighborhood about 4:45 p.m. on Saturday after a man was shot at Claremont Street and Fair Oaks Avenue, police and fire officials said.
Police encountered a 25-year-old Pasadena man who had been shot in the thigh, Goodman said.
He was hospitalized in serious-but-stable condition and expected to survive, officials said. No further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were available.
Anyone with information can reach 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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PHOTOS by James Carbone

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Man wounded in Monrovia drive-by shooting


MONROVIA >> A man is recovering from gunshot wounds to both legs following a drive-by shooting in a residential Monrovia neighborhood early Wednesday, police said Friday.
The shooting took place just before 1:20 a.m. in the 1300 block of South Alta Vista Avenue, Monrovia police Sgt. Sarah Covarrubias said.
Police responded to numerous reports of gunfire heard in the area when they encountered the victim, a man in his 30s, suffering from “multiple gunshot wounds to both legs,” the sergeant said. The injuries were not life-threatening.
The shots were believed to have been fired from a passing vehicle, she said. No suspect description was available, and the motive in the shooting remained under investigation.
Anyone with information was urged to contact Monrovia police at 626-256-8000. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Pasadena man killed in shooting identified


PASADENA >> Authorities have identified a 25-year-old Pasadena man who was killed in a shooting on Thursday night.
Brandon Douglas died at a hospital shortly after the 9:47 p.m. shooting in the 1200 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue, according to Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian.
Police responding to reports of gunfire found Douglas lying on a sidewalk suffering from gunshot wounds, Lt. Mark Goodman said.
No eyewitnesses were found, and the circumstances of the deadly shooting were unknown, he said. No suspect description was available.
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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Man fatally shot on Pasadena sidewalk


PASADENA >> A man died late Thursday following a shooting along Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena.
The deadly shooting took place just after 9:45 p.m. in the 1200 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena police officials said.
The identity of the victim was not available pending positive identification and notification of family, Los Angeles County coroner’s officials said. He was initially described by Pasadena police as a man estimated to be in his 20s.
Police responded to reports of gunshots heard in the area and discovered the victim lying on the sidewalk to the west side of the avenue, between Claremont Street and Washington Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
Pasadena Fire Department paramedics took the wounded man to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
No further information regarding the circumstances of the shooting, including a suspect description, were available Friday.
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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Man admits 3 counts of murder, other charges, for 2014 Pasadena shooting rampage

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PASADENA >> A man pleaded guilty to three counts of murder, as well as other charges, for a 2014 assault rifle shooting rampage in Pasadena that left three people dead and two others wounded, authorities said.
John Izeal Smith, 46, of Pasadena is expected to be sentenced to 181 years to life in state prison when he returns to the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Burbank branch for sentencing on Feb. 1, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said.
Under a negotiated plea arrangement, which took place just over two weeks before Smith’s trial was scheduled to begin, the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, one count each of second degree murder, attempted murder and assault with an assault weapon on a police officer in connection with the July 12, 2014, bloodshed in the 1700 block of North Summit Avenue, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling.
” Killed were Smith’s ex-girlfriend, 59-year-old Maria Aguiar, with whom he still lived, her 91-year-old father, Luis Aguiar, and 31-year-old Jose Hernandez Iribe, who was shot to death as he rushed toward the gunfire to help Maria Aguiar as she lied wounded in the sidewalk, according to Pasadena police.
Two other neighbors were also shot, but survived their injuries.
Smith barricaded himself inside his home and called police to report the shooting, which police said was carried out with an AK-47-style rifle.
The first arriving officer, John Woo, immediately came under fire, police said. His patrol SUV was riddled with bullets, but he was not struck.
Fellow officers placed an armored vehicle between Woo and the gunman to allow him to escape the line of fire, according to police officials and witnesses.
A police dispatcher ultimately persuaded Smith to surrender to exit the home and surrender to officers.
Smith fired more than 40 7.62x39mm rounds during the shooting spree, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said at the time.
Smith and Maria Aguiar had previously been involved in a dating relationship and were still living together at the time of the shooting, Risling said.
Smith is believed to have become became angry when Maria Aguiar confronted him about allegedly physically assaulting her mother, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said. He retrieved the rifle and began shooting.
Though the special circumstance of multiple murders made Smith potentially eligible for the death penalty, the prosecution did not seek capital punishment in the case, Risling said.
Chief Sanchez commended the work of involved officers.
“I could not be more proud of the team of detectives that committed themselves to this investigation, in particular Sgt. Carolyn Gordon who served as the lead investigator. It is through their efforts and dedication to duty that we achieve these types of outcomes,” Sanchez said in a written statement. “It is also my hope that today’s guilty plea helps to bring solace and closure to the family members that were victimized by suspect Smith on July 12, 2014.”

PHOTO by James Carbone

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Stabbing, shooting in San Gabriel blamed on gang rivalry

SAN GABRIEL >> A man was stabbed, another was beaten and a car was struck by gunfire in a sudden spate of violence blamed on a gang rivalry late Wednesday, officials said.
Police first received reports of a fight involving rival gang members about 1:30 p.m. in the area of Del Mar and Clary avenues, San Gabriel police Lt. Fabian Valdez said.
The combatants had fled by the time officers arrived, the lieutenant said. But officials at nearby San Gabriel Valley Medical Center notified police about an hour-and-a-half later that a man in his 40s had arrived at the emergency room suffering from multiple stab wounds.
Though conscious, the stabbing victim would not cooperate with investigators, Valdez said.
Police were summoned to the same area about 8:20 p.m. after witnesses reported hearing gunshots at San Marino Avenue and Broadway, just around the corner from the scene of the earlier suspected gang fight, according to Valdez.
Again, officers found no suspects or victims at the scene.
A woman reported to police on Thursday morning that her husband had been beaten up by several other men, and her car had been struck by gunfire in incident at San Marino Avenue and Broadway, he said. The woman’s husband suffered cuts and bruises but no serious injuries.
All three victims were in their 40s, officials said.
Investigators believed the violence stemmed from a dispute between two groups of rival gang members.
The stabbing victim is suspected to be affiliated with a local street gang, Valdez said. The victims of the beating and shooting were believed to have ties to a South Los Angeles gang, and the second incident appeared to have been carried out in retaliation for the stabbing hours earlier.
Police are working to assess the situation and determine what resources and tactics may be helpful in preventing further gang violence, Valdez said. “
“The San Gabriel Police Department is currently developing a plan to address this matter,” he said.
Police asked the public to come forward with any relevant information.
Any with information can reach San Gabriel police at 626-308-3838. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Azusa man dies after being shot outside his home


AZUSA >> A 30-year-old Azusa man died Wednesday night after an unknown assailant shot him several times outside his home.
Sgt. Marcelo Quintero of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said Paul Espinosa, who was shot in the upper torso, made his way back to the house where he collapsed. He died at the scene.
Detectives have not found the shooter.
The shooting broke out just before 11 p.m. in the 17800 block of E. Newburgh Street, in an unincorporated county area near Azusa.
Espinosa stepped outside for a few minutes and his family heard three to four shots, according to Quintero.
The sergeant said Espinosa entered the house, said he’d been shot and told relatives to call 911. He said Espinosa collapsed on a couch.
Azusa police found him bleeding and unresponsive with gunshot wounds to his chest. Coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter said firefighters pronounced Espinosa dead at the scene at 11:10 p.m.
Investigators are looking for witnesses.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Hacienda Heights man found shot to death inside car identified


HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Officials have identified a Hacienda Heights man who was found shot to death behind the steering wheel of a car in a shopping center parking lot on Saturday morning.
Isidrio Marquez Jr., 29, died after he was discovered unconscious in his car, suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper body, just after 8 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot in the 15800 block of Gale Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
The death was first reported to authorities as a “person not breathing,” according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau. Authorities soon discovered that discovered Marquez had been shot, and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
No information regarding the circumstances, shooter or motive in the slaying was available.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Police: Ex-con accidentally shoots self, waitress inside Pasadena Denny’s


PASADENA >> An ex-con shot and wounded himself, and grazed a waitress with a bullet, when a gun he was carrying went off accidentally inside a Pasadena Denny’s restaurant on Saturday night, police said.
The incident unfolded about 10:10 p.m. at the diner, 2627 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“We responded to a call of ‘shots fired’ at the location,” the lieutenant said. “(The suspect) was in one of the booths and a gun discharged on his person somewhere.”
A bullet struck the man in the hand and leg, and also grazed a waitress, Clawson said.
The waitress, 36, suffered a minor injuries and was treated by paramedics at the scene, he said. The gunman fled the restaurant before police arrived.
But police said they soon found the suspect’s car in the parking lot of a nearby hospital.
The suspect, a 32-year-old man, was inside being treated for his wounds, Clawson said. He was listed in stable condition.
Police determined he was a convicted felon, barred from possessing a firearm, he said. Officers recovered a revolver from his car.
Deandre Stringfellow, 32, of Pasadena was expected to face a charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm once released from the hospital, officials said.

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Man shot to death in Hacienda Heights


HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Homicide detectives are seeking clues in the slaying of a man found shot to death inside a car in Hacienda Heights on Saturday morning, authorities said.
The deadly shooting was first reported about 8:10 a.m. in a shopping center parking lot in the 15800 block of Gale Avenue, just east of Hacienda Boulevard, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Someone called 911 to report a “person not breathing,” she said in a written statement.
“When deputies arrived, they found the victim seated in the driver seat of a vehicle, suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper torso,” Navarro-Suarez said.
Paramedics pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
His identity was not available pending positive identification and notification of his family, coroner’s officials said.
No suspect description was available, nor were further details regarding the circumstances or of the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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