Masked gunman shoots at man in Montebello alley

MONTEBELLO >> A man escaped injury Sunday when a masked gunman opened fire on him in a seemingly random shooting in a Montebello alley, authorities said.
The incident took place about 3:30 p.m. in an alley behind the 100 block of North Poplar Avenue, Montebello police Lt. Mike Flores said.
A man was standing in the alley when he noticed a male attacker with a handgun crouching near a car, wearing all black clothing and a bandana over his face, the lieutenant said.
Flores said the gunman fired two shots, both of which missed the victim. The bullets struck two nearby apartments, but injured no one.
The attacker fled on foot and was not found, Flores said. The victim told investigators he had no idea who the gunman was.
Anyone with information can reach Montebello police at 323-887-1313.

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Officials: Man fatally shoots self after being stopped by police in Monterey Park

MONTEREY PARK >> A Monterey Park senior citizen reported as potentially suicidal shot and killed himself when police pulled over his car Sunday, officials said.
Family members contacted police about 11 a.m. to report the 69-year-old man suffered from depression, anxiety and paranoia and had made statements indicating he may have been suicidal, Monterey Park police Sgt. Art Rousseau said. There was no indication the man was armed.
Officers found the man driving less than 45 minutes later and pulled over his car in the 1800 block of West Garvey Avenue, the sergeant said.
The driver pulled to the side of the road and shot himself once in the head with ha handgun, Rousseau said.
Paramedics rushed the man to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, he said.
An autopsy was to be carried out by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, Rousseau said.

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Woman found fatally shot at Whittier park, suicide suspected


WHITTIER >> A woman was found fatally shot at a Whittier park Saturday in what was initially being investigated as a suicide, police said.
The woman, initially described only as 28 years old, died at the scene, Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said. She was found about 1:20 p.m. lying on a handball court at Guirardo Park, at Pioneer Boulevard and Orange Drive.
Witnesses reported hearing the gunshot, though they didn’t realize what it was at the time, Miller said.
A man who knew the woman discovered her and called police, he said.
A 9mm handgun was found near the woman’s body.
“We believe it to be a suicide,” Miller said. “We’re trying to rule everything else out.”

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Suspect sketches released in Pasadena robbery, shooting

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PASADENA >> Police released composite sketches Wednesday of two men sought for shooting and wounding a store clerk during a November robbery.
The employee, a man in his 50s, suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder during the 7 p.m. crime at Pepe’s Video & Wireless, 313 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Ed Calatayud said at the time.
Two robbers barged into the store and demanded money, police said.
“An employee armed himself with a handgun and attempted to detain one suspect,” Sgt. Mike Bugh said in a written statement. “The second suspect shot the employee and both suspects ran from the business.”
The robbers fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, Calatayud said. The worker was treated for a non-life-threatening wound.
0213_NWS_PSN-L-ROBSKETCH2Police described one of the robbers as a black man in his 20s, of dark complexion, about 5 8 inches tall, 300 pounds, with short curly hair. The second robber was a black man in his 20s, of dark complexion, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, skinny, clean-shaven, with short curly hair.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pasadena police Detective A. Torres at 626-744-7055 during business hours, or police dispatch after hours at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

SKETCHES courtesy of the Pasadena Police Department.

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House struck by gunfire in West Whittier shooting

WEST WHITTIER >> Bullets struck a home during a drive-by shooting late Friday, but no one was injured, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 8:10 p.m. in the 11000 block of Wakeman Street in the unincorporated county area of West Whittier, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Vasquez said.
Two attackers passed by in a vehicle and opened fire on the home with a handgun, he said.
No further details were available.

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UPDATED: Police search Pasadena neighborhood for gunman

PASADENA >> Police searched a Pasadena neighborhood Thursday for an armed man who ran from officers responding to reports of gunfire, but ultimately came up empty-handed, authorities said.
Officers responded about 6 p.m. after receiving calls reporting an armed man, and at least one call reporting shots fired, in the area of Washington and Raymond avenues, Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian said.
Officers spotted the armed man, who ran from them, the lieutenant said. Officials briefly chased after the man, but turned their efforts to a search perimeter after he escaped their view in the 1400 block of north Summit Avenue.
Police conducted yard-to-yard searches, Gourdikian said. Officers were confident the armed suspect was pinned down within the search perimeter.
About four hours later, “after an extensive and systematic search,” the search was called off, police said in a written statement. The suspect was not found.
There were no initial signs of anyone or anything being struck by the reported gunfire, Gourdikian said.

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Chino Hills man fatally shot in Whittier identified

WHITTIER >> Coroner’s officials have released the name of a 26-year-old Chino Hills man killed in a shooting at Broadway Park Whittier last week.
Jesus David Molina, 26, died at a hospital shortly after he was shot about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday at Broadway Park, 12816 Broadway, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Kristy McCracken said.
Two male attackers approached Molina as he was sitting in the park, according to Whittier police Officer John Scroggins.
After a brief exchange of words, one of the two attackers shot Molina and fled, he said. Officers responding to reports of a shooting found Molina suffering from gunshot wounds to his chest.
No further details were available.

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Woman guilty of murder in husband’s 2007 shooting death in South Whittier

SOUTH WHITTIER >> Nearly seven years after a woman claimed she accidentally shot her husband to death at their Whittier home, a jury convicted her of murder Friday following her second trial.
The Norwalk Superior Court jury deliberated for less than two days before finding Linda Gwozdz, 57, guilty of second-degree murder for the April 26, 2007, slaying of then-husband Patrick Duffey, 50, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Robert Villa said. The jury also found true the special allegation that she personally discharged a firearm during the crime, resulting in death.
Duffey was shot twice in the head, officials said.
Even following conviction, however, some key questions remain unanswered.
“She never expressed what the motive was,” Villa said. “She said he was her best friend.”
Duffey’s life was insured for $300,000, but through a judge’s ruling, the money went to the couple’s two sons, even though Gwodz was listed as the primary beneficiary, the Clarion Ledger in Mississippi reported. A death certificate provided to the insurance company listed Duffey’s cause of death as homicide due to multiple gunshots wounds.
Gwozdz faces up to 40 years to life in prison when she returns to court for sentencing March 9, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
A previous murder trial ended in a mistrial January after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, Villa said.
The fatal shooting took place about 2:50 p.m. at the couple’s home in the 15800 block of Sharon Hill Drive, in an unincorporated county area just south of Whittier, officials said. The couple’s two children were at school at the time.
Gwozdz herself called 9-1-1 to report the shooting.
“In the 9-1-1 call, she says he was teacher her how to shoot a gun, and the gun accidentally went off,” Villa said.
“But the evidence doesn’t really support that that’s what happened,” the prosecutor said. “It looked like he was sleeping on the couch.”
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau interviewed Gwozdz the day of the shooting, and several times after in the years that followed, Villa said. In the meantime, she moved to Mississippi and re-married.
There was no documented history of domestic violence between Gwozdz and Duffey, Villa said.
Gwozdz story changed each time she was interviewed, Villa said. She first stated her husband was lying on the couch when the gun went off. She later said he had been sitting on the couch and lied down just as she aimed the .38-caliber revolver at the couch and inadvertently fired.
After several years of persistent investigation, detectives presented their findings to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, resulting in the filing of a murder case in May of 2012.
Authorities extradited Gwozdz back to Los Angeles County from Mississippi shortly after the case was filed, Ardalani said.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies arrested her June 7, 2012, according to county booking records. She was held in lieu of $2 million bail prior to her conviction.
— Staff Writer Stephanie Baer contributed to this report.
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Two wounded in shooting at Washington Park in Pasadena


PASADENA >> Two men suffered serious injuries in a shooting at Washington Park in Pasadena Wednesday, officials said.
The shots rang out shortly after 6 p.m. at the park, in the 700 block of East Washington Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
Officers on patrol nearby heard gunshots coming from the area about the same time someone called police to a report some sort of disturbance involving a large group of people at the park, the lieutenant said.
The officers encountered many people leaving the park on foot and in cars when they arrived, Ibarra said.
The two wounded men were soon found in the park, she said. They were taken to an area hospital for treatment. An update on their conditions was not available. The victims were initially described as men in their late-20s or early-30s.
No information regarding the circumstances of the shooting or a description of the shooter or shooters was available as detectives continued their investigation late Wednesday, Ibarra said.
Traffic on Washington Boulevard was expected to remain shut down between El Molino and Hudson avenue well into the night Wednesday as officials gathered clues at the scene, she said.
Police believed the shooting was witnessed by many people, and asked anyone with information 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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UPDATED: Azusa man fatally shot while walking to work; slaying may have stemmed from robbery


AZUSA >> A gunman fatally shot an Azusa man as he walked to work early Friday during what officials said appeared to have been a robbery gone awry.
The victim, 37, was hospitalized in “extremely critical” condition following the 4:37 a.m. shooting at Azusa Avenue and Russell Street, Azusa police Officer Mike Bires said in a written statement.
He succumbed to his injuries Friday afternoon, Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. His name was not available pending positive identification by coroner’s officials and notification of his family.
“Based on the initial investigation it appears the shooting might have been the result of an attempted street robbery,” Bires said.
The victim himself called police to report being shot, the lieutenant said. No other witnesses reported hearing or seeing the shooting.
Officers responded to report of a shooting when the found the victim lying wounded on a grass parkway between the street and sidewalk along the north side of Russell Street, just east of Azusa Avenue, officials said.
Paramedics took the gravely wounded man to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was ultimately pronounced dead, Corina said.
“The victim was able to make some statements before he went unconscious,” Corina said.
But other than indicating he had been shot during a robbery, the lieutenant declined to discuss what the victim said.
It was not clear if anything had been stolen from the man.
No suspect description or further details were released as detectives continued pursuing leads, Corina said.
The victim was on his way to work when he was shot, Corina said.
“He was on his way to a friend’s house to drive to work together, he added.
Investigators turned to the public for help.
“Since Azusa Avenue is a main thoroughfare through Azusa, there may have been witnesses to this crime,” Bires said.
Once the victim died from his injuries, police turned the investigation over the detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. Handling investigators could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Anyone with information can reach the 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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