WHITTIER >> Coroner’s officials on Sunday released the identity of a 27-year-old Whittier man who died after a struggle with police in Whittier last week.
Jonathan Andrew Salcido died at a hospital after being detained by police about 2 p.m. Thursday in the 900 block of Ocean View Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
The officers had responded to a call from a nearby home reporting a family member suffering from mental illness was refusing to go to a psychiatric facility, according to Deputy Caroline Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
The man, later identified as Salcido, had run away from the home when police arrived, but was followed by a family member.
When officers encountered the man, he began trying to jump a fence in front of a water reservoir, Rodriguez said in a written statement.
Police used “control holds” to wrestle Salcido into custody, she said. Salcido soon became unconscious and was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Salcido’s cause of death remained unclear Sunday pending the completion of an autopsy, Molano said.
No further details regarding the incident were available. The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is handling the investigation.
WHITTIER >> A mentally ill man lost consciousness and ultimately died at a hospital after he was restrained by police in Whittier on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The man, whose identity was not available, died at PIH Health Hospital in Whittier shortly before 2 p.m., according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and Whittier police officials said.
Officers responded to a home in the 14400 block of Tedemory Drive, “regarding a male adult suffering from a mental illness who was refusing to go to a mental hospital,” Deputy Caroline Rodriguez of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. The man had run away from the home by the time police arrived.
A family member followed the man about a mile to the 7900 block of Ocean View Avenue, Rodriguez said. As officers approached, the man tried to jump over a fence leading to a water reservoir.
“Officers used control holds to restrain and handcuff the male,” she said. “A short time later the male became unconscious and the officers began life saving measures until the arrival of paramedics. The male was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
No officers were hurt during the incidence. No further details were released.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner will conduct an autopsy.
The investigation is being handled by the sheriff’s department.
Prosecutors filed a murder charge, 14 attempted murder charges and other allegations on Thursday and a man and woman they say embarked on a random shooting spree in the Whittier area over the weekend that left one man dead and three others wounded.
Alejandro Lazo, 21, and his girlfriend Reyna Gomez, 26, both of Whittier, who themselves were shot and wounded under mysterious circumstances following Saturday’s mobile rampage, have previously been considered “persons of interest,” in the series of violent crimes. Both suspects are self-described gang members with criminal records.
But Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau Capt. Christopher Bergner announced Thursday that the couple has been formally arrested in connection with the crime spree.
And the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed one count of murder, 14 counts of attempted murder and one count of carjacking against each defendant, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling. Gomez was additionally charged with torture for allegedly shooting a man in the groin during the bizarre attacks that unfolded in Whittier, La Mirada and Pico Rivera.
There was no known motive or explanation for the rampage, Bergner said.
“These were senseless acts of violence, acts committed on innocent people that were merely enjoying the day, running errands, in what they believed to be a safe area,” the captain said. “The individuals that were victims of this crime, these were random targets of violence that were unprovoked.”
The investigation continues, and detectives are seeking additional suspects believed to have played roles in portions of Saturday’s crime spree, Bergner said. He declined to comment further regarding any outstanding suspects.
In addition, “They’re also reviewing similar crimes in the area to see of the suspects were also involved in any additional crimes that we haven’t yet reported,” Bergner said.
The spate of violence began about 1 p.m. Saturday in the 10000 block of Carmenita Road in South Whittier, where a man was wounded in the leg in a drive-by shooting. The attackers, later identified as Lazo and Gomez, were in a white Kia Rio when they carried out the Carmenita Road shooting.
The suspect turned up again about 2:15 p.m. in the 11100 block of Rosehedge Drive in Pico Rivera, where they carjacked a man at gunpoint and fled in his green Nissan Pathfinder SUV, Deputy Lilian Peck of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. The victim was unhurt.
Just over an hour later, another shooting linked to the couple was reported behind a Starbucks coffee shop at Whittier Boulevard and Colima Road, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said. Gomez is accused of shooting a man in the groin from as he walked down the street, resulting in the torture charge filed against her, officials said. The victim, a man in his 50s, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspects then headed down Colima Road in the carjacked Pathfinder and opened fire at two motorists who were stopped at a traffic light near Lambert Road, Peck said. No one was injured in the car-to-car attacks.
The shooters continued south to Imperial Highway and La Mirada Boulevard, where they shot a man in the arm as he was sitting in a car about 4 p.m., according to Peck.
“Norwalk Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to the La Mirada shooting but quickly learned another shooting occurred just south of them, at the intersection of Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road, La Mirada,” Peck said.
“The fourth victim, Jose Ricardo Sahagun, a 44-year-old father of two little boys, was struck multiple times with gunfire as he sat in his car, waiting at a traffic light. Other victims in nearby vehicles were also fired upon indiscriminately, but Jose cwas the only person injured and he was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Sahagun succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
The search for the killers continued for more than two hours before deputies found the carjacked Nissan Pathfinder abandoned at Amelia Mayberry Park in South Whittier shortly after 6 p.m.,Peck said. “It was there the suspects unloaded the vehicle they used as a mobile gun turret,” she said.
But gunfire erupted again about 8 p.m., this time outside a motel in the 15000 block of Carmenita Road, authorities said. This time, it was the suspects who had been wounded in a shooting.
“Both suspects were shot in the torso and when they realized the gravity of their injuries, they flagged down a concerned citizen and asked her to dial 911 for them,” Peck said.
Lazo and Gomez were found sitting in the white Rio believed to have used in the first shooting of the spree, officials said. A gun was recovered from the car, and has since been linked to the numerous nearby crimes scenes, Bergner said.
The circumstance of the suspect’ shooting remains under investigation by the Whittier Police Department. No suspect description was available.
Family members of Sahagun thanked the police and God for the arrests in the slaying of their loved one, as well as the community for its outpouring of support.
The Compton social worker and former school teacher left behind a wife and two sons, ages 4 and 7.
“While this is a positive step toward justice and closure, there’s no reconciling of the fact that the taking of a n innocent life has devastated both our family, and the community,” Maria Del Rosario Sahagun.
Family members described Jose Sahagun as an example for the community.
A fund to benefit Jose Sahagun has been set up online at www.gofundme.com/jose-ricardo-sahagun.
A viewing for Jose Sahagun has been scheduled for 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdau at the All Souls Mortuary, 4400 Cherry Ave. in Long Beach.
A Mass will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 8545 Norwalk Blvd. in Whittier, to be followed by burial at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach.
Detectives described both Lazo and Gomez as self-identified gang members but declined to name the gang they belong to.
Both were released from jail late last year after serving time for prior convictions, officials said.
Los Angeles County court records show Lazo pleaded guilty to extortion and assault with a deadly weapon on Feb. 23, 2016. On the same date, he was also convicted of possession of methamphetamine on a separate case. He pleaded no contest to petty theft on Dec. 26. 2014.
Gomez pleaded no contest to possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia on July 6, 2015. She also pleaded no contest to possession of methamphetamine on July 9, 2015 and to possession of methamphetamine for sale on Jan. 8, 2014.
Gomez was convicted of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and possession of marijuana for sale on June 11, 2012.
She pleaded no contest to four counts of vandalism on Sept. 23, 2010 and one count of vandalism on Jan. 31, 2011. She was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on Oct. 20, 2009.
According to county booking records, Lazo was being held without bail, while Gomez was being held in lieu of $12 million bail. They were scheduled to make their initial court appearance Friday in the Downey branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
If convicted as charged, the suspects could both spend the rest of their lives in prison.
PHOTOS: (crime scene map and picture of victim Jose Sahagun courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
A man and woman were found shot in a stolen car in the parking lot of a Santa Fe Springs motel late Saturday, four hours after a shooting rampage that left one man dead and another wounded in Whittier and La Mirada, officials said.
The man and woman wounded in the Santa Fe Springs shooting were being held on suspicion of auto theft and gun possession Sunday as detectives continued investigating whether they were connection to the earlier shooting spree, according to Whittier police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials. Their identities were not released.
The couple matched the general description of the man and woman being sought in connection with the spate of shootings, Sgt. Vincent Plair of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. The suspect description has not been disclosed.
“It is unclear whether the detained individuals are the suspects in the earlier shooting,” Plair said. “Homicide Bureau investigators are following up on all possible leads and working with Whittier Police Department to solve these crimes.
“As of now there have not been any arrests made in connection with these incidents,” he said.
Officers responded to reports of “shots fired” at 8 p.m. at the Budget Inn, 13420 Firestone Blvd., according to Whittier police Sgt. Ramos, who declined to give his first name.
The circumstances of the shooting were unknown and no suspect description was available, Ramos said.
Both the man and woman were taken to the University of Southern California, Irvine Medical Center for treatment, the sergeant said.
The woman was shot once, he said. Her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
The man suffered multiple gunshot wounds. An update on his condition was not available.
Police soon learned that the car the man and woman were in had been reported stolen, Whittier police Lt. Brian Ellis said. Officers also recovered a gun from the couple.
Without a suspect description, it was unclear whether the shooting was related to a spate of three shootings in Whittier and La Mirada Saturday afternoon that left one man dead and another man wounded.
The violence began about 3 p.m. with a carjacking carried out by a man and woman in Pico Rivera, according to sheriff’s officials.
The carjacked Nissan Pathfinder showed up at a Starbucks coffee shop at Whittier Boulevard and Colima Road in Whittier about 30 minutes later, Ellis said.
The suspects opened fire on a man in his 50s in an alley to the rear of the coffee shop. He was wounded in the leg.
Within minutes, the occupants of the SUV again opened fire at the intersection of Colima and Lambert roads, Ellis said. A car was struck, but the people inside were unhurt.
A third shooting believed to involve the same carjacked SUV and suspects unfolded about 4 p.m. at Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road in La Mirada, sheriff’s officials said.
The victim, 44-year-old Jose Shagun of Norwalk, succumbed to his injuries at the University of California Medical Center, Irvine, at 4:51 p.m., according to Orange County coroner’s records.
Deputies found the Nissan SUV believed to have been used in the three shootings shortly after 6 p.m., abandoned at Amelia Mayberry Park in South Whittier.
Anyone with information can reach 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.
One man died and several other people were wounded in a string of shootings in the Whittier, La Mirada and Norwalk areas on Saturday afternoon which were believed to linked to the same carjacked car, authorities said.
The attacks took place beginning about 3:30 p.m. in the jurisdictions of the Whittier Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Norwalk Station, according to Whittier police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials. A man died at a hospital following one of the shootings in La Mirada, officials said.
The series of crimes was believed to have begun with the carjacking of a dark green or black Nissan Pathfinder SUV in the Pico Rivera area about 3 p.m., officials said.
The vehicle was occupied by a man and a woman, both armed with guns, when it pulled through the rear alley of a Starbucks coffee shop at Whittier Boulevard and Colima Road about 3:30 p.m., Whittier police Lt. Brian Ellis said. A man in his 50s was walking in the alley.
“The suspects pulled up to him and shot him in the leg,” Ellis said. The victim was treated for injuries not believed to be life threatening.
There was no apparent motive for the attack, which appeared to be random, he said.
The SUV then headed south on Colima Road, where the attackers opened fire on another car at Colima Road and Lambert Road, according to Ellis. The victim’s car was struck, but no one inside was injured.
The SUV was last seen heading west on Lambert Road following the car-to-car shooting.
The same SUV is believed to be linked to a fatal shooting about 30 minutes later in La Mirada, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
A man was shot and mortally wounded about 4 p.m. at Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead,” according to the statement.
Deputies were also looking into possible additional shootings.
“There are additional shootings in the surrounding areas involving multiple victims,” the sheriff’s department statement said. “The number of victims, as well as their conditions are unknown at this time. There is no additional information available at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.”
Deputies found the SUV believed to have been used in the shootings parked, unoccupied, at Mayberry Park in South Whittier shortly after 6 p.m., officials said. But the suspects remained at large.
The spate of violence followed another shooting in unincorporated South Whittier early Saturday afternoon in which a man was wounded.
A man was shot in the leg about 12:45 p.m. along Carmenita Road, just north of Telegraph Road, sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Nevarez said.
It was unclear whether the earlier afternoon shooting had any connection to the spate of shootings that occurred later in the afternoon.
Anyone with information can reach 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.
SOUTH WHITTIER >> A man suffered a gunshot wound to his leg in a drive-by attack in South Whittier on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 12:45 p.m. in the rear alley of an apartment copmlex in the 10000 block of Carmentia Road, between Telegraph Road and Laurel Avenue, in the unincorporated county area, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Navarez said.
Deputies responded to several 911 calls reporting a drive-by shooting and encountered the victim, described only as a man, wounded in the leg, the sergeant said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and was expected to recover.
His attackers were described as two to three Latino men in a small, white car, Nevarez said.
The wounded man did not appear to be cooperating with investigators, he said. The motive was unclear, and no further details were available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
SOUTH WHITTIER >> A man carjacked a woman at gunpoint in the carport of a South Whittier apartment complex on Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The crime was reported about 1:55 p.m. in the 12300 block of Clearglen Avenue, in the unincorporated county area, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Cunningham said.
A victim, a woman in her 40s, was in the carport when a man approached her, pointed a handgun at her and demanded her car, the sergeant said.
“The victim complied and gave her keys to the suspect,” he said. The carjacker fled in her vehicle.
He was described as a Latino man in his 20s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 200 pounds, wearing all-black clothing.
A description of the stolen car was not available Sunday afternoon, Cunningham said. It had not been recovered.
WHITTIER >> Police arrested two alleged drunken drivers and made another 41 citations and arrests during a checkpoint in Whittier late Friday and early Saturday.
The checkpoint was held for seven hours overnight on Whittier Boulevard, just south of Philadelphia Street, Whittier police Sgt. David Elizarraras said.
Officers screened 1,212 vehicles, ultimately arresting two drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the sergeant.
Fifteen drivers were arrested or cited for driving without licenses, or driving on suspended or revoked licenses, he said. Police issued another 25 tickets during the checkpoint and arrested one person on unspecified criminal charges.
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Public Safety.
WHITTIER >> Police plan to hold a sobriety and driver license checkpoint in Whittier tonight.
The checkpoint will be held from 7:30 p.m. tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
Over the past three years alone, Whittier police have investigated 246 DUI-related collisions, which resulted in four deaths and another 88 injuries, according to the statement.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.
WEST WHITTIER >> Deputies are seeking three men with an assault rifle who carried out a home-invasion robberies in West Whittier and Cerritos on Wednesday night, officials said.
The first crime was reported about 9:40 p.m. in the 12100 block of Washington Boulevard, at the home of a man and woman in their 60s in the unincorporated county area of West Whittier, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Steve Tenney said.
“The female victim walked out of her home a little after 9 p.m. to retrieve an item from her vehicle parked in her driveway when she was confronted by a male black adult armed with a rifle,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The man ordered her back into the house at gunpoint and followed her inside,” according to the statement. “Once inside the home, the suspect ordered both elderly victims to lay on the floor. Two additional male black suspects entered the home and ransacked the rooms, stealing items of jewelry.”
The robbers ordered the victims to stand up and walk into another room before robbing them of their cash and fleeing, officials said.
No getaway car was seen.
Investigators described all three robbers as black men, between 25 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and of thin build. Each wore a hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over their heads.
“They were in and out,” he said. The man and wife suffered no injuries, though they were, “pretty shaken up.”
Deputies noted no apparent reason the robbers would have targeted the couple.
A short time later, three men of similar description carried out a similar crime about nine miles to the south, authorities said.
“Two hours later, Cerritos Sheriff Station responded to a similar home invasion robbery involving three male black suspects, one armed with a rifle,” according to the statement.
The crime was first reported as an “assault with a deadly weapon” about 11 p.m. in the 4600 block of Rancho Verde Drive, sheriff’s Lt. Richard Hernandez said.
A man who lives at the home was working inside his garage when one of three robbers approached, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The victim was pistol-whipped on his head and ordered to the ground as the two other suspects entered his residence,” the statement said.
The robbers then confronted a woman inside the home and also ordered her to the ground. Two children were also sleeping inside the home.
“The two suspects began to walk towards the rear of the residence when they abruptly turned and ran out the front door out of view,” according to the statement.
Nothing was stolen during the crime, and no injuries were reported.
The three suspects were described as black men in their 20s, officials said. One was armed with a rifle, and the other two carried handguns.
“These men are considered armed and dangerous,” the statement added.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421, or the sheriff’s Cerritos Station at 562-860-0044. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.