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Man Shot at Cousin's Funeral Dies in Los Angeles Hospital

Los Angeles: A man who was shot outside a relative's funeral yesterday in south Los Angeles has died at a local hospital.

On Saturday, April 28, 2007, around 12:35 p.m., Robert Hunter, 34, was standing at the entrance to the Southern Missionary Baptist Church, 4678 West Adams Boulevard, where a memorial service was being held for his cousin. Hunter and another man became involved in an argument that escalated to a physical altercation. Others present for the services intervened and separated the two men. The suspect walked away from the crowd but then pulled a gun, fired and struck Hunter multiples times. Other individuals attending the funeral fired additional gunshots. Besides Hunter, two victims sustained graze wounds to their legs and ankles.

The suspect was a Black male in his early 20s.  He fled in an unknown direction.

Hunter's brother carried him to a parked vehicle and attempted to rush him to the hospital. Wilshire patrol officers heard the crime broadcast on their radio and stopped the brother's vehicle in front of Los Angeles Fire Station #63 at 5023 West Washington Boulevard. Paramedics rendered emergency medical treatment and transported Hunter to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries at 6:20 p.m.

The two additional victims were not seriously injured.

The shooting is gang related.

South Bureau Homicide Detectives Rick Gordon and Rick Carreon are handling the investigation. Anyone with information on the suspect or his whereabouts is asked to call 213-485-2418, during normal business hours. After hours and on weekends, phone the 24-hour toll free Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAW-FULL (1-877-529-3855).

Pay Phone Shooting

Los Angeles: Two young men shot, standing near pay phone in the 5100 block of South Figueroa.

On April 27, 2007, at about 10:14 PM, Wilber Jackson 16 years of age and his 17 year-old companion were shot.   

Witnesses report that a white four-door vehicle drove southbound on Figueroa Street.  The vehicle had tinted windows.  Three suspects in the vehicle.  One of the suspects shouted something to the victims and then shoots numerous times striking both victims.  The suspect vehicle drove away southbound on Figueroa Street.

Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the scene and pronounced Jackson dead at the scene.  His companion was transported to a local hospital where he is listed in critical condition.

The suspects and weapon(s) remain outstanding.  Motive for the shooting appears to be gang related.

Anyone with information is asked to call Operations South Bureau Criminal Gang/Homicide Group Detective Armando Bernal or Kevin Huff at 213-485-1383.  On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

Man Shot after Pointing Gun at Officer

Los Angeles: A gunman trying to elude police officers was shot last night, April 26, 2007, after the man pointed a gun at an officer.  Twenty-one-year-old Pedro Rentaria died at the scene.  His gun was found at the scene.

Witnesses called police around 6:30 PM and reported three Hispanic gang members standing in front of 1418 West 225th Street.  A caller described one of the men with a gun.  He was wearing a blue hat and a blue shirt.

When Officer Daniel Robbins, 36, and his partner drove by, they noticed a group loitering.  The group dispersed and the officers followed a man with the blue hat, who was later identified as Rentaria.  He ran into an apartment complex and entered a ground-floor apartment.  The officers tried to contain the apartment when one officer saw Rentaria climbing out a rear window.

Rentaria raised a gun at Officer Robbins when the suspect saw the officer had cut off his escape.  Officer Robbins fired.  Rentaria ducked back into the apartment and refused to come out.

Knowing they had an armed suspect barricaded inside the apartment, the officers waited for SWAT to arrive.  After about 30 minutes, SWAT officers entered the apartment and found Rentaria dead from a gunshot wound.

A coroner's examination will determine whether the gunshot wound was from the officer's fire, or self inflicted.  Investigators found Rentaria's loaded gun at the scene.

Officer Robbins is assigned to the Harbor Police Station's gang unit.  He is an 11-year veteran of the LAPD.

Force Investigation Division will investigate the officer-involved shooting.

Officer Rescues Kidnap Victim

Los Angeles: A police sergeant fired to disable a white van last Sunday morning, April 22, 2007, after he realized that several men in the van were holding a woman against her will.  The woman escaped and three men were later arrested.

The kidnapping occurred just after 4 A.M., outside the Felix Bar on Florence Boulevard when two Hispanic men force a 24-year-old Latina into the van, which contained at least one additional man.  Witnesses reported the incident, explaining the men and woman had been drinking at the bar.

Sergeant Pedro Torres, 40, drove toward the bar and noted the van's description and license plate number from the radio broadcast.  Torres turned a corner and found himself head on with the white van.  He exited his police car and ordered the van's occupants to get out.

"The sergeant could see a naked woman, apparently unconscious in the van," said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon.  "No one came out and the van started to drive away.  Sergeant Torres had to make a split-second decision.  He realized he could not let these men drive away with the woman."

As the van pulled away, Torres fired at the van's tires, using two-round bursts.  He fired a total of six shots.  Several of the rounds hit their marks and he could hear the tires burst as the van drove around the corner.

Police quickly found the victim walking in the street near 61st Street and Menlo Avenue.  Officers found the white van abandoned a few blocks away at Hoover Street.

Eventually three men were arrested for kidnapping:  Saul Bramasco, 31; Carlos Luevano, 23, who was driving the van; and Jose Cordova, 32. Investigators are still trying to determine whether any other men were involved.

The victim was not seriously injured, and no one was hit by the shots fired.  The victim said the suspects had a gun, but none was found so far.

Sergeant Torres is an 11-year veteran of the LAPD, and he is assigned to the 77th Street Police Station.  The Felix Bar is located at 640 West Florence Avenue.

Detective Abiel "Abe" Barron Highway Memorial Sign Dedication Ceremony

On April 26, 2007, members of the LAPD saluted their fallen colleague as a memorial sign was dedicated to Officer Abiel “Abe” Barron.  Friends and family gathered at Northeast Area to celebrate his memory and to reflect on the many wonderful times they shared with the officer.

Barron_dedication The Honor Guard began the ceremony with the presentation of colors before Master of Ceremonies Commander Jim Voge.  Deputy Chief Carter reminisced on Officer Barron’s life and Councilmember Tom LaBonge vowed to “never forget the sacrifices.”

Officer Barron’s wife, Anne Marie Barron, and his partner, Detective Andrew Teague, unveiled the Officer Barron memorial sign, which will be placed on Highway 138 at Interstate 15. Solemnly united, the crowd stood silent as "Amazing Grace" being played on bagpipes concluded the bittersweet ceremony. 

Detective Barron joined the LAPD in November 1983 and promoted to Detective in June 1995.  In addition to receiving over 78 commendations, he was posthumously conferred the Police Medal, the LAPD’s second highest award for distinguished bravery, for preventing a woman from leaping to her death.  Detective Barron was killed in a head-on collision on Highway 138 on June 25, 2003.  He is survived by his wife, Ann Marie; daughter, Lauren; mother, Magda; brothers, Arnold and retired Sergeant Sam Barron and sister Magda.

Found Child-Publics Help Needed

Los Angeles:  Police are asking for the publics help in identifying a found child and locating his parents.

On Wednesday, April 25, 2007, around 1:45 p.m., Newton Area Officers responded to a call of a found child in the area of Long Beach Boulevard and Vernon Avenue. Witnesses reported seeing the boy standing on the sidewalk alone.

He speaks Spanish only and was able to tell the Officers that his name was Joel. Joel also told officers that his father's name was Ruben, his mother name was Hilda, and his brother name was Junior.

He is between 2 to 3 years of age with short-cropped black hair and brown eyes. He was found wearing a gray long sleeved shirt with the words "PJC Varsity" on the front, blue jeans with red stripes and black sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call Newton Area Station at 323-846-6547, during normal business hours. After hours and on weekends, phone the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

Notes from the April 24, 2007 Police Commission Weekly Meeting

•Reminder: the public hearing pertaining to Chief Bratton's request for reappointment will take place on Monday, April 30, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. in the Department of Water and Power Auditorium at 111 North Hope Street, Los Angeles, California, 90012.  Input from the public is an essential element for a comprehensive review of Chief Bratton's service to the City of Los Angeles.

•There will be no weekly Commission meeting on Tuesday, May 1, 2007.  The next weekly meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. in Parker Center, Room 146.

•The Department's report relative to Professional Standards Bureau protocol on racial profiling investigations, has been modified and will be on the agenda for the May 8, 2007 Commission meeting.

•The Commission observed a moment of silence in honor of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald of California's 37th congressional district, who died on April 22, 2007.

•There are currently 414 recruits in the Academy.  41 cadets will graduate on Friday, April 27, 2007.

•Chief Bratton will present the Department's budget proposal before City Council on Thursday, April 26, 2007.  The budget proposal, if approved, will fund the addition of 780 new officers next year.  After attrition, this will add 300 officers to the force.

•Chief Bratton will speak on Crisis Management with respect to terrorism at the Milken Institute's 2007 Global Conference on Tuesday, April 24, 2007.

•City Councilmember José Huizar has motioned to name the Hollenbeck Replacement Station in honor of Rudy de Leon, the first Latino to be named captain of the Hollenbeck Area.

•Chief Bratton will travel with Mayor Villaraigosa to El Salvador meet with the president for the signing of the agreement between our law enforcement agencies to cooperate on gang efforts.  Afterward, they will travel to Mexico to meet with the president and discuss the same matter.

•The May Day March will take place on May 1, 2007.  In addition to the march, there will be two parades.  A large turnout is expected.

•The promotion ceremony on Monday, April 30, 2007 will be the largest in the modern era of the Department and will see an increase in the number of women and minorities to the command staff. 

•Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety Arif Alikhan presented the Mayor's gang prevention initiatives to the Commission.

•The Department's report relative to a Special Event Permit application for the May Day March for Workers Rights was conditionally approved for the May Day March.

•The Department's report in response to City Council's request concerning the Department's Youth Gang Prevention, Intervention and Suppression Programs, was approved and transmitted to the Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development.

•The Department's report relative to criminal case filing rates of arrested individuals was approved with the addition of an amendment that will provide year-to-year data for analyzing trends.
The Department's report relative to the Consent Decree/Gang Enforcement Detail Status Report, First Quarter 2007, was approved.

•The Department's report relative to the Audit Recommendation Status Report, Fourth Quarter 2006, in accordance with Paragraph 154 of the Consent Decree, was continued 2 weeks.

•The Department's report and the Office of the Inspector General's report, both relative to Audio Tapes Used in Non-Categorical Use of Force Investigation and Complaint Investigations Audit, Second Quarter, Fiscal Year 2006/2007, in accordance with the Annual Audit Plan, was approved.

Student Finds Threatening Letter at Hollenbeck High School

Los Angeles: On April 19, 2007, a Salesian High School student found a threatening letter in a classroom and reported it to school administrators.  The letter threatened violent acts against students and teachers at the school and mentioned that the acts would take place on Tuesday, April 24, 2007.

School administrators called police and reported the incident.

When police arrived on campus, they used both firearm and explosive detection K-9's to search for devices. 

After numerous interviews and an intensive investigation, Detectives arrested a 17-year-old juvenile on April 23, 2007 for criminal threats.

Anyone with information is asked to call Media Relations at 213-485-3586.  On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

USC Student Arrested for Illegal Firearm and Threats

Los Angeles: On Sunday April 22, 2007 officers with the Los Angeles Police Department arrested and booked a 19-year-old University of Southern California student for illegal possession of a firearm.

Zao Xing Yang, a five-semester undergraduate at USC was attending a student party at a home in the 2300 block of Portland Street, near the USC campus.

Around 3 A.M., some students at the party overheard Yang talking to a young woman. At one point the host of the party asked Yang to leave after he was heard making intimidating statements to the co-ed, and then threatening her with violence.

Yang began arguing with the host and that's when the host noticed Yang holding a gun in his hand. Several students wrestled the gun away from Yang and held him until Campus security and LAPD officers arrived.

Early Monday, April 23, 2007, Southwest Area Detectives obtained a search warrant for Yano's home, which he shares with other roommates. In Yang's room Detectives discovered a safe. Within the safe they found methamphetamine packaged for sale, a .44 caliber magnum revolver, and several hundred dollars in cash.

Yang was booked on the firearm charge and is being held without bail. When Detectives present their case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, they plan to seek charges including; making terrorist threats, possession of unregistered firearms and possession of illegal narcotics for sale.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call Southwest Area Detectives at 213-485-6571.

San Pedro Home Intruder Wanted by Police

Los Angeles:  Police are conducting an investigation into two separate incidents in San Pedro which may involve the same suspect.

On Wednesday, March 21, around 10:30 p.m., a man was seen peering into an apartment at an apartment complex in the 1200 block of South Leland Street in San Pedro.  When a resident of the building saw and confronted the man, he ran away.

The peeping tom was a male Hispanic in his early 20s, 5'8" tall, 150 pounds.

A second incident occurred Sunday, April 15, at a residence in the 1300 block of West 10th Street in San Pedro.  A teenage girl was in the garage at the rear of the home when she heard a door close.  She thought her family had just returned from the store and went inside to talk to her mother.  The suspect, now inside, jumped in front of the victim and grabbed her arms, pushing her down on a couch.  As the girl fought back, she and the suspect fell to the floor.  She continued to fight and managed to escape the man's grasp.  The girl ran from the front living room into the street, yelling for help.

The suspect in the second incident was also a male Hispanic, in his early 20s, 5'8" tall, 150-160 pounds, and was described as having a large, flat nose.

A composite sketch of the suspect is available by request from Media Relations Section.

Anyone with information is asked to call Harbor Area Detective Rafael Mora at 310-522-2028, during normal business hours.  After hours and on weekends, phone the Harbor Area Watch Commander at 310-513-7024.