POMONA >> A woman died and a man was hospitalized in critical condition after they were both found shot in the back seat of a car in a residential neighborhood early Sunday morning, police said.
Vanessa Renee Lopez, 28, of Pomona died at the scene of the 2:50 a.m. shooting in the 1300 block of Caprino Way, Pomona police officials said in a written statement.
Manuel Flores Jr., 30, of Pomona was rushed to a hospital by helicopter and was listed in critical condition, police said.
Officers responding to a report of a shooting found the victims wounded in the rear seat of a car parked in the driveway of a home, according to the statement.
The relationship between the two victims was unclear. No suspect information was available, and no further details were released as Pomona police homicide detectives continued their investigation Sunday.
ALTADENA >> Deputies are seeking a 19-year-old autistic man from Altadena who vanished early Saturday morning.
Jonathan Taylor Clark left his home in the 100 block of West Alta Loma Drive about 3 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Jonathan has autism and (needs) prescribed medication,” the statement said. “If Jonathan is without his medication, his mental capacity would be (that of a) 7-year-old.”
Clark took some money and his identification from his mothers purse and left home on foot,” according to Deputy Jeffrey Gordon of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“He has run away from facilities and his home before and is known to make poor decisions,” Gordon said.
Deputies notified their law enforcement counterparts in the area to be on the lookout for Clark, including the Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau, which patrols train and bus lines, and the the Montrose and Altadena search and rescue teams, which searched the nearby forest.
Clark is described as white, 5 feet 11 inches tall and was last seen wearing blue jeans, along with white and yellow shoes.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Altadena station at 626-798-1131.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
SAN DIMAS >> A truck driver died along the 10 Freeway in San Dimas after suffering an apparent medical problem Saturday, officials said.
The incident was first reported on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just west of the 57 Freeway, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
Paramedics responded to a report of a medical issue when they encountered the truck driver, described only as a man, in his truck, parked on the freeway shoulder, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims said.
Paramedics reported that the man was in full cardiac arrest and pronounced dead at the scene, she said.
MONTEBELLO >> A Montebello restaurant owner shot during a robbery along Whittier Boulevard shot back at his two assailants, fatally wounding both early Saturday, police said.
Montebello police said the robbery and shooting unfolded about 12:15 a.m. at a restaurant in the 2100 block of West Whittier Boulevard, which had already closed for the night.
“The preliminary investigation has determined both suspects were armed with handguns attempted to rob the victim,” police said in a written statement.“During the robbery, one of the suspects fired multiple shots at the victim, striking the victim once. The victim, a local business owner, returned fire striking both suspects.”
The business owner, a man estimated to be in his 30s, was expected to survive his injuries, Lt. Michael Bergman said.
Officers found one of the wounded suspects at the scene suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the statement. The second suspect was found around the corner in the 100 block of North Wilcox Avenue suffering from a single gunshot wound.
Both suspects died from their injuries at the scene, Bergman said.
The names of the suspects had not been released Saturday pending notification of their family members, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Joyce Kato said. Both were initially described as men in their 20s.
The business owner’s identity was being withheld due to concerns for his safety, police said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Montebello police Detective C. Adams or Detective P. Antista at 323-887-1313.
NORWALK >> Detectives continue seeking clues into the mysterious shotgun slaying of a father and son found fatally shot inside their Norwalk home earlier this week.
Walter Vicente, 49, and Andrew Vicente, 24, were found shot to death shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday at their house in the 12300 block of Gettysburg Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner officials said.
A family member, who was a son to the older victim and brother to the younger victim, found the men shot to death when he stopped by to visit, Lt. Dave Coleman of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. It was unclear when exactly the shooting took place, though it was believed to have been within a matter of a day or days.
No suspect has been identified in the double-homicide, and the motiveremains unclear.
“There’s nothing apparent that indicated it was a robbery,” Coleman said. The shots were fired from within the house, however there were no signs of forced entry into the home.
Walter Vicente’s body was discovered in the living room of the home, while Andrew Vicente’s body was found in an adjacent bedroom.
Neither the father or son appeared to have no ties to gang acivity, and investigators were aware of no one who would want to do them harm, the lieutenant said. Walter Vicente was a plumber, he said, adding that he believed his son was also involved in the trade.
“It’s a mystery,” Coleman said. “We just don’t have much at this time. We’re obviously going to get into their personal lives.”
Detectives were also still trying to determine the last time someone saw the father and son alive.
An autopsy determined the men both died from shotgun wounds to the head, and both cases were ruled homicides, coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
An exact time of death was not clear, however coroner’s reports indicated a neighbor reported hearing possibly gunfire shortly after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Anyone with information was aksed 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.
PHOTOS of Walter Vicente, 49, of Norwalk (above) and Andrew Vicente, 24, of Norwalk (below) courtesy of the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
PASADENA >> Authorities Thursday released the name of a 79-year-old retired priest who was killed when the ambulance he was riding in collided head-on with another vehicle on Fair Oaks Avenue over the weekend.
Nelson Munoz Vergara died at a hospital following Sunday’s 4 p.m. crash between a private ambulance and a Jaguar sedan on Fair Oaks Avenue, just south of Hammond Street, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said.
The release of his identity was delayed as coroner’s investigators unsuccessfully sought Vergara’s next of kin, Harvey said. It was determined that Vergara was a retired priest who was being cared for by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and living at a Pasadena convalescent home.
Vergara was a retired, visiting priest from South America, Archdiocese of Los Angeles spokeswoman Monica Valencia said.
“We are saddened that a retired priest, who was visiting us from Chile, was killed in a vehicle crash on Saturday,” Archdiocese officials said in a written statement.” “The Archdiocese of Los Angeles grieves the loss of our brother, who blessed us with his warmth and friendship, while he was with us. We pray for the strength and comfort of his family and friends, and offer our prayers for the repose of his soul.”
Vergara was being taken to a routine dialysis appointment when the crash took place, officials said.
The ambulance, operated by Montebello-based Lifeline Ambulance, was southbound on Fair Oaks Avenue when a northbound Jaguar crossed into opposing traffic lanes and collided with the ambulance, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said. Why the northbound Jaguar crossed into southbound lanes remained under investigation.
A 21-year-old San Bernardino man who was driving the ambulance and his partner, a 27-year-old Whittier man, suffered minor injuries in the crash, police said.
A 68-year-old Altadena woman at the wheel of the Jaguar suffered injuries including a broken leg, officials said. Her injuries were not life-threatening.
The results of toxicology tests were pending, however alcohol did not appear to be a factor, Hettema said.
No arrests were made as the investigation continued.
– Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales
Police jailed a Pasadena man Wednesday in connection with their investigation into the violent home-invasion robbery of an elderly Burbank woman last week, officials said.
Lonnie Garcia, 27, is accused of robbery and attempted murder Friday’s 8:22 p.m. home invasion targeting an 89-year-old woman in the 1000 block of Cornell Drive, Burbank police officials said in a written statement.
The investigation also led to the arrest of a second suspect, 40-year-old Eddie Baca, on suspicion of evading police and drug sales following a car chase Wendnesday afternoon, according to Pasadena and Burbank police.
While following up in the investigation into the home-invasion robbery, “Investigators developed leads which led them to the City of Pasadena,” according to the Burnank police statement. “The leads and investigatory work resulted in the arrest of a suspect in the home invasion robbery.”
Garcia was arrested about 5 p.m. and was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, Los Angeles County booking records show.
(Garcia) was recently released from prison and is currently supervised as part of California’s Realignment Program, known as AB109,” according to the Burbank police statement.
Pasadena police officers joined their counterparts from Burnank to carry out surveillance of the suspect, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Baca led officers on a chase when they tried to pull him over, the lieutenant said.
The chase led to Del Mar Boulevard and Madre Street, where Baca was apprehended after crashing into another car at about 5 p.m. No significant injuries were reported as a result of the crash.
Baca was booked at the Burbank jail for evading police and drug sales, officials said. He was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
In Friday’s home-invasion robbery, the elderly victim answered a knock at her door when the suspect — later identified as Baca — forced his way into her home, Burbank police said in a written statement.
“A struggle ensued, and the victim received some injuries, including abrasions and lacerations,” according to the statement. It was unclear what, if anything, was stolen in the crime.
The woman summoned help via her medical alert system, police added.
*This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect that Lonnie Garcia is accused of robbery and attempted murder, while Eddie Baca is accused of evading police and drug sales.
MONROVIA >> Two young men attacked a passing driver in a failed robbery Tuesday afternoon, police said.
A man in his 40s was making a turn onto a side street from the 1300 block of South Myrtle Avenue about 6:10 p.m. when he stopped for a young man of 17 to 19 years old who was crossing the street on a skateboard, Monrovia police Sgt. Dan Verna said.
As the skateboarder passed by, a second young man approached the driver and demanded money, telling the driver that he almost struck his friend, Verna said.
The driver refused and the would-be robber punched him in the face and again demanded money, the sergeant said. The driver sped away.
Police searched the area but did not find the suspect, Verna said.
ROSEMEAD >> Coroner’s officials have confirmed the death of a man who was found fatally shot inside a burning pickup truck was a suicide, as investigators initially suspected.
Paramedics pronounced the 53-year-old Rosemead man dead at the scene after he was pulled from parked and burning pickup truck early Saturday in the 8500 block of Olney Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said. It was soon found that the unconscious man had also been shot in the chest. A gun was recovered from inside the truck.
Deputies suspected the death to be a suicide, but summoned investigators from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Los Angeles County Department of Coroner to assist in the investigation, Sgt. Steve Ruiz of the sheriff’s Temple Station said.
But an autopsy confirmed officials’ initial suspicion, coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
The man died from a gunshot wound to the chest, and the death was ruled a suicide, he said.
MONTEBELLO >> Police who stopped a car for speeding in Montebello on Monday ended up seizing two assault weapons, two pistols, more than 10 pounds of drugs and about $20,000 in cash, police said.
Ramon Alberto Enciso, 45, of Montebello, and girlfriend Wendy Peralta, 35, of La Habra, were arrested in the traffic stop turned drug bust about 1 a.m. in the 400 block of North Wilcox Avenue, according to Montebello police and Los Angeles County booking records.
“A Montebello Police Officer conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle that was speeding through a residential neighborhood in Montebello,” police said in a written statement. “Upon contacting the driver, the officer observed a rifle next to the driver’s leg.”
Police ordered the couple out of the car and discovered a TEC-9-style machine pistol beneath Enciso’s seat, a loaded .40-caliber Glock pistol in Encino’s waistband and another loaded .380-caliber pistol was found in the panel of the driver-side door, police said. The AR-15-style rifle that first caught officers’ attention was fitted with a loaded, 30-round magazine.
“Also located inside the vehicle was approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine, 45 grams of heroin, 31 grams of cocaine, 14 grams of marijuana and approximately $20,000 in U.S. currency,” the statement said.
Enciso was scheduled to appear in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday afternoon to answer to 16 drug- and weapon-related charges, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said. His arraignment was postponed to Thursday.
Encino, a gang member who is on probation under AB 109 guidelines due to a previous conviction, was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to police and records. Peralta posted $105,000 bond the day of her arrest and was released from custody pending her initial court appearance.
Enciso has a criminal record dating back to 1992, Los Angeles County Superior Court records show.
He’s been convicted three times for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, three times for drug possession, twice possession of drugs for sales, once for transportation of drugs, once for being a felon in possession of ammunition, twice for domestic abuse and once for battery, records show. And at the time of his arrest Monday, Enciso already had a case pending against him for allegations of shooting at an inhabited building or vehicle, being a felon in possession of a gun and drug possession, records show.
PHOTOS of seized drugs and guns (above) and suspects Ramon Enciso and Wendy Peralta (below) courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.