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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Montebello jail administrator charged with fatal shooting of ex-wife, wounding of man in South Whittier


SOUTH WHITTIER >> A Montebello jail administrator accused of fatally shooting his ex-wife and wounding her boyfriend during a child custody exchange at her South Whittier home is due to appear in court this afternoon to face charges that could send him to prison for more than 75 years, officials said.
Prosecutors charged Efrem Ruben Lozoya, 38, of Pico Rivera with murder and attempted murder in connection with Saturday’s 11:15 a.m. shooting at an apartment in the 13900 block of Coteau Drive, in the unincorporated county area of South Whittier, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
He entered no plea, she said. His arraignment was continued to July 18 in the Downey branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Lozoya is also accused of the special allegation that he personally used a gun in the crimes, causing great bodily injury.
Killed was 33-year-old Nereida Villanueva, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials. Her boyfriend was wounded.
“Lozoya and his ex-wife, Nereida Villanueva, have two children together and had been divorced for several years,” Ardalani said in a written statement.
The suspect showed at his ex-wife’s apartment to drop off one of their children, officials said.
“Shortly after entering Villanueva’s residence, Lozoya allegedly shot his ex-wife and her boyfriend, who also was in the apartment,” Ardalani said. Lozoya then fled the scene.
Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the sheriff’s Information Bureau described the children as 7 and 9 years old. They were not injured in the shooting.
Lozoya, who works as a contracted jail administrator at the Montebello Police Department’s jail, turned himself in to authorities several hours later.
“If convicted as charged, Lozoya faces a possible maximum sentence of 75 years to life in state prison,” Ardalani said.
Lozoya was initially held in lieu of $2 million bail following his arrest. During Wednesday arraignment hearing, the judge granted a prosecution request that bail be increased to $5 million, Ardalani said.

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South Whittier woman shot to death during child custody exchange identified, Montebello police jail administrator jailed


SOUTH WHITTIER >> The Montebello Police Department’s jail administrator is accused of fatally shooting the mother of his children and another man during a child custody exchange at the woman’s South Whittier home on over the weekend, authorities confirmed Sunday.
Nereida Villanueva died at the scene of Saturday’s 11:15 a.m. shooting in the 13900 block of Coteau Drive in the unincorporated county area of South Whittier, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said. A man was also wounded in the shooting, sheriff’s officials said.
Efrem Ruben Lozoya, 38, turned himself in at an area police station shortly after the shooting, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records.
He was arrested at 5 p.m. on Saturday and booked into jail just before 6 p.m. on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, according to records and sheriff’s officials.
The suspect and Villanueva, who had previously been involved in a relationship, were meeting for a child custody exchange when the shooting took place, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said Saturday. Villanueva and a man she was with were wounded.
Paramedics pronounced Villanueva dead at the scene, Rouzan said. The wounded man was taken to a hospital “in an unknown condition.”
The two children, ages 7 and 9, were not injured, officials said. It was not clear if they witnessed the shooting.
After turning himself in, Lozoya was arrested about 5 p.m. Saturday and
Lozoya works as the jail administrator at the Montebello Police Department.
Sheriff’s department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida described Lozoya as an employee of a contracted company that provides custody services for the Montebello Police Department. He is not employed directly by the police department or the city.
Montebello police defrayed comment to the sheriff’s department. City officials could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
Lozoya was being held in lieu of $2 million pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Monday in the Downey branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.
Anyone with information is urged 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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Officials: Man fatally shoots mother of his children, wounds man during child custody exchange in South Whittier


SOUTH WHITTIER >> A man fatally shot the mother of his children and wounded another man during a child custody exchange at a South Whittier apartment on Saturday, authorities said.
The deadly gunfire was first reported about 11:15 a.m. in the 13900 block of Coteau Drive in the unincorporated county area, according to Deputy Grace Medrano of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The couples’ two children, ages 7 and 9, were present at the time of the shooting but were not injured, according to Deputy Ryan Rouzan.
Deputies first responded to a report of a shooting when they encountered a woman and man, “who had both sustained at least one gunshot wound to the upper torso,” Rouzan said in a written statement.
Paramedics pronounced the woman dead at the scene, officials said. The wounded man was taken to a hospital. An update on his condition was not available.
The alleged shooter turned himself in to an area police station later in the day, Rouzan said. “He is being detained pending interviews with detectives.”
the suspect’s identity was not available.
Homicide detectives learned that the woman and the shooter had previously been involved in a relationship and had two children together, Rouzan said.
“The female victim and suspect were involved in a child exchange, at which time the suspect shot the male victim and female victim for unknown reasons,” the deputy said. The relationship between the wounded man and the slain woman was unclear.
“It is unclear if the children witnessed any portions of this crime, however they were not injured,’ Rouzan said.
No further details were released Saturday afternoon.
Anyone with information is urged 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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Man shot to death in El Monte identified


EL MONTE >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 20-year-old man who died in a shooting that also left a teenage boy wounded in El Monte on Tuesday night.
Esteban Bustamante of South El Monte died following the 11 p.m. attack at Garvey and Durfee avenues, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
He was riding as a rear passenger in a car, as was the teenage victim who survived his wounds, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. A woman driving the victims’ car, as well as a second woman riding as a front passenger, escaped injury.
The victims were stopped at a red light, facing north on Durfee Avenue, when a gray compact car driven by the killer pulled up alongside their car, Deputy Trina Schrader of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“A verbal interaction occurred between the occupants of both vehicles,” Schrader said. “During the course of the verbal interaction, a male Hispanic exited the driver side of the suspect’s vehicle, approached the victim’s vehicle and shot multiple rounds into the rear passenger compartment.”
The shooter then got back into his car and sped away.
The woman at the wheel of the victim’s car drove the wounded man and boy to Greater El Monte Community Hospital in South El Monte, Schrader said.
Bustamante died within minutes of arriving there, coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
No further information, including a detailed suspect description, have been released.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is assisting El Monte police in the investigation, at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Officials: Man fatally shoots mother, self in San Gabriel

SAN GABRIEL >> A man shot and killed his mother before turning the gun on himself in a San Gabriel apartment on Saturday night, authorities said.
The suspected murder-suicide was first reported at 10:08 p.m. inside an apartment in a large apartment complex on a residential cul-de-sac in the 1300 block of Stevens Avenue, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, who are assisting San Gabriel police in the investigation.
Police responded to the home after receiving a report of “shots fired,” Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Officers found a man and woman suffering from gunshot wounds inside the apartment, officials said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Homicide detectives determined the man, described as 49 years old, fatally shot his mother before shooting himself, according to Alexander.
The identities of the woman and son were not available.
No further details were available early Sunday.
Anyone with information is urged 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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