The transient man who was the victim of a brutal shooting on February 2 has been identified as Carlos Sanchez Cruz. After medical evaluations, doctors yesterday afternoon declared Cruz to be brain dead. As a result, Cruz has been removed from life-support equipment and his family has agreed to have some of his organs harvested to help others.
“It’s sad that a dispute over $50 would lead to a man’s death,” said Lt. Paul Vernon. “I hope the family can find some solace in knowing that at least we have the persons responsible in custody.”
Two local gang members, 21-year-old Robert Chapman of San Fernando and a 17-year-old youth, were booked initially for attempted murder. Detectives will now pursue murder charges against one or both suspects after conferring with prosecutors.
Los Angeles. A 31-year-old transient man remains on life support at Holy Cross Hospital after he was shot in the head during a fight on a sidewalk near 9010 Tobias Avenue. Two local gang members are in custody, as of this morning, and will be booked for attempted murder. The shooting occurred February 2, 2014, around 2:30 p.m.
“The best we can tell, our victim and a 21-year-old suspect were arguing over a $50 debt or theft, when the two started to struggle,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division. “According to witnesses, another person approached during the scuffle and shot the victim point-blank in the head.”
Gang officers in the area stopped a group of men and women at a nearby park. One person was identified among the group by witnesses as the 21-year-old gang member involved in the dispute. In short order, gang officers were able to piece together the identity of the potential shooter.
That person, a 17-year-old, was arrested around 7:30 a.m. as he left his house in the city of San Fernando.
Detectives will continue to work the case. Meanwhile, doctors are evaluating the victim’s prognosis for recovery. “The victim’s injury is quite devastating,” Lt. Vernon said.
Robert Chapman and the 17-year-old shooter were booked for attempted murder. In the event the victim succumbs to his injuries, both suspects could face murder charges.
The victim was not affiliated with any gang, and he was well known to hang out in the neighborhood.
Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Ryan Verna, Mission Homicide Unit, at 818-838-9976. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.”