Law Enforcement News
Funeral Held For Slain California Sheriff's Deputy Who Was ‘Strong, Kind, Compassionate'
The Riverside County sheriff's deputy who was shot and killed on Jan. 13 was honored Saturday morning at a funeral service where he was remembered as an exceptionally kind and dedicated public servant. The black hearse that carried the casket of Deputy Darnell Calhoun wound its way through a 50-mile route to the Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga, as mourners lined the roads to pay their respects to the slain officer. The 30-year-old deputy was shot while responding to an "unknown trouble" call at a residence in the unincorporated community of Lakeland Village, according to the Sheriff's Department. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died, officials said. The suspect, 42-year-old Jesse Navarro, exchanged gunfire with a second officer who arrived at the scene, according to officials. Last Saturday, Navarro was reported to be in critical condition. Calhoun's death shook the local community and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, which was still reeling from the death of another deputy, 32-year-old Isaiah Cordero, who was shot while making a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley two weeks earlier.
Monterey Park Mass Shooting Victims: Patient Dies In Hospital Bringing Death Toll To 11
One of four patients from Saturday night's mass shooting in Monterey Park who was being treated at County-USC Medical Center has died from "extensive injuries," raising the death toll to 11 on Monday. As of Tuesday morning, six victims had been identified: My My Nhan, female, 65, confirmed by coroner; Lilan Li, female, 63, confirmed by coroner; Valentino Alvero, male, 68, confirmed by coroner and family; Xiujuan Yu, 57, confirmed by coroner; Ming Wei Ma, male, age unknown, confirmed by relatives; Nancy Liu, female, 62, confirmed by family. Nine people were injured in a mass shooting late Saturday in Monterey Park at a Lunar New Year celebration that attracted thousands. A motive had yet to be officially determined Monday night, a day after the gunman took his own life. Officials withheld the names of the other victims, pending notification of their relatives. However, witnesses identified Star Dance Studio owner Ming Wei Ma as one of the deceased.
Monterey Park Gunman Was Making Silencers, Had Stockpiled Ammunition, Sheriff Says
The man accused of gunning down 11 people and wounding nine others in Monterey Park, California had been stockpiling ammunition and was making homemade gun silencers inside his home, authorities revealed Monday. Law enforcement officers and federal agents executed a search warrant at Huu Can Tran’s mobile home inside a gated senior community in Hemet, roughly 85 miles southeast of Monterey Park, Sunday evening. Inside, investigators found a .308 caliber rifle, items indicating he was manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors, “numerous electronic devices” including cell phones and computers, and unknown amount of .308 and 9mm caliber ammunition, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at news conference. “The (munitions) were in containers and there were hundreds of rounds. We don’t know exactly how much,” Luna said. Authorities say Tran, 72, walked into the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park late Saturday night and opened fire with 9mm MAC-10 assault firearm. Ten people died at the scene and an 11th victim succumbed to their wounds at LAC+USC Medical Center on Monday.
1 Dead In Hit-and-Run Crash Near Taco Stand In LA's Westlake Neighborhood
One person is dead after a hit-and-run crash near a taco stand in Los Angeles' Westlake neighborhood. The Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call near the intersection of West 6th Street and South Bonnie Brae Street around 7:30 p.m. Monday. According to LAPD, a driver hit a pedestrian, believed to be a man in his 20s, and ran off from the scene. Officials have not released the identity of the man hit and killed by the driver. As of late Monday night, a description of the suspect vehicle has not been released.
Authorities Seek Public’s Help Locating Man Missing Since September
Authorities Monday sought the public’s help in locating a man who went missing in September. Alfonso Vargas, 34, was last contacted on Sept. 27, 2022 around 2:15 p.m. in the 8000 block of Beach Street in South Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced. Vargas was described as a 5-feet-7 inch tall Hispanic man weighing 165 pounds. He has black hair, black eyes and wears a beard. Vargas has a “V” tattoo on his right hand and a tattoo that reads “NHJA” on his left arm. He is known to frequent the area near the 91 Freeway and the Long Beach (710) Freeway underpasses in Compton. Anyone with information regarding Vargas’ whereabouts is encouraged to contact the LASD’s Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be made by calling 800-222-8477.
Ex-LA County Real Estate Official Gets Probation In Bribery Case Involving Hawthorne Plaza Mall
A former official in Los Angeles County’s real estate division who was involved in awarding contracts to developers and contractors was sentenced Monday to two years probation for lying to FBI agents and filing a false tax return in an effort to cover up his receipt of bribes in connection with the Hawthorne Plaza mall in Torrance. Thomas M. Shepos, 72, of Palmdale, was also ordered to pay $110,021 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Shepos pleaded guilty in November 2018 to felony charges of making false statements in which he denied receiving bribes and kickbacks while working for the county and filing a false return in which he failed to report more than $100,000 in bribes he received from a Beverly Hills developer. As part of his plea deal, Shepos agreed to cooperate with the federal investigation that led to the conviction of the developer, papers filed in Los Angeles federal court indicate.
LA Daily News
Van Nuys Man Accused Of Distributing Child Porn In OC
A 61-year-old Van Nuys man made his first appearance in court Monday on charges of distributing and possessing child pornography in Irvine. Robert William Peeples was charged Thursday with four counts of distributing obscene matter to an adult, two counts of possession or control of child pornography, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of annoying phone calls. He was arrested Friday. Peeples did not enter a plea at his arraignment Monday in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana. His arraignment was rescheduled for Feb. 8 in the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. He was accused of distributing the pornography in June, according to court records. Police and prosecutors did not immediately respond to messages for details.
Half Moon Bay Shootings: Gunman Kills 7 People In The Second California Massacre In 3 Days
At least seven people were killed in a pair of related shootings that have rocked the beach-side community of Half Moon Bay, an act of violence that comes just two days after 11 people were killed in another mass shooting in Monterey Park. A 67-year-old resident of the community is suspected of opening fire at two rural locations about a mile distant, shooting some of the victims in front of children who lived nearby and had recently been released from school. “This kind of shooting is horrific; it’s a tragedy we hear about too often,” San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said. “For children to witness this is unspeakable.” The suspect, believed to be a worker at one of the nearby farms or nurseries, was arrested about two hours after the shootings while sitting in a parked car at a sheriff’s substation. The victims are also believed to be workers at nearby farms, officials said. Deputies with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office first found four victims shot to death in the 12700 block of San Mateo Road in an unincorporated area of the county just before 2:30 p.m. A fifth victim was also found in the area and taken to Stanford Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to The Times.
Man Gets Life Sentence For Murdering 24-Year-Old Illinois Police Officer
A Missouri man was sentenced to life plus 13 years in prison on Monday for a first-degree murder conviction for the death of an Illinois officer who had tried to stop the man from fleeing police. Caleb Campbell, 24, of Florissant, Missouri, was convicted last month in a bench trial for the Aug. 4, 2021, death of Brooklyn Officer Brian Pierce Jr. Pierce, also 24, was part of a team of officers that tried to stop Campbell — who allegedly drove over spike strips and struck Pierce on the McKinley Bridge in Venice, Illinois, which connects the two states. Campbell was taken into custody days after the incident and claimed he had been carjacked in a Brooklyn nightclub parking lot. His car was later found abandoned on the Missouri side of the bridge. Campbell had a handgun in his car and an active Missouri warrant for his arrest when he fled an attempted traffic stop, prosecutors said. “The loss felt by the family and loved ones of Officer Pierce is unimaginable," Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas Haine said. “There is no sentence that could even begin to give them a sense that justice has been adequately served.”
Public Safety News
Man's Body Found In Garage After Fire Breaks Out At Home In Northridge
A man's body was found Monday morning after a fire broke out at a home in Northridge. It happened just before 6:30 a.m. on West Knapp Street. Firefighters found the man's body in the garage, according to authorities. Dozens of firefighters rushed to the scene and were able to extinguish the fire in less than 15 minutes. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Universal Studios Hollywood Stunt Performer Hospitalized After Suffering A Medical Emergency
A performer at Universal Studios Hollywood was rushed to the hospital after a suffering a medical emergency during an afternoon show on Monday, Jan. 23, officials said. “One of our long-standing show vendors was transported to the hospital following a stunt during an afternoon performance,” a spokesperson for Universal Studios Hollywood said in a statement Monday. Firefighters were called to the theme park around 2 p.m. for a man suffering from a medical emergency, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Supervisor Imy Velderrain. Officials did not clarify what performance or what exactly happened on Monday but when firefighters arrived they had to perform CPR on the victim before he was taken to a hospital, Velderrain said. “Details surrounding the event are under review. As always, safety is our top priority in our day-to-day operations.”
LA Daily News
LA County Reports 46 More COVID-Related Deaths, 2,264 New Cases
Los Angeles County reported another 46 COVID-19-related deaths over a three day period ending Monday, along with more than 2,200 new infections. The 46 new deaths -- 20 reported Saturday, 16 on Sunday and 10 on Monday -- lifted the county's overall death toll to 35,147. The county Department of Public Health reported 1,134 new COVID infections on Saturday, 688 on Sunday and 442 on Monday for a total of 2,264. The county does not release case numbers on weekends. Sunday and Monday infection numbers are typically believed to be artificially low due to delays in reporting over the weekend. Overall case numbers are also believed to be undercounts in general, due to most people relying on at-home tests without the reporting the results, and others not testing at all. The new numbers gave the county a cumulative official case total of 3,668,756 as of Monday. The seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 4% as of Monday, down from 5.2% a week ago.
US Health Officials Propose Once-A-Year COVID-19 Vaccines For Most Americans
U.S. health officials want to make COVID-19 vaccinations more like the annual flu shot. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday proposed a simplified approach for future vaccination efforts, allowing most adults and children to get a once-a-year shot to protect against the mutating virus. This means Americans would no longer have to keep track of how many shots they’ve received or how many months it’s been since their last booster. The proposal comes as boosters have become a hard sell. While more than 80% of the U.S. population has had at least one vaccine dose, only 16% of those eligible have received the latest boosters authorized in August. The FDA will ask its panel of outside vaccine experts to weigh in at a meeting Thursday. The agency is expected to take their advice into consideration while deciding future vaccine requirements for manufacturers.
Local Government News
L.A. On The Record: When Will We See Mayor Karen Bass’ Appointees?
Since taking office, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has been laser focused on the crisis of homelessness, declaring a state of emergency and moving scores of homeless people out of encampments in Hollywood and Venice and into temporary housing. Bass has pointed to those efforts as evidence that she is moving with great urgency. Still, there is another area of city government where her pace has been not quite as breakneck: choosing the citizens who will represent her, and the public, on the city and county’s many boards and commissions. One of the most potent ways a new L.A. mayor can put their stamp on city government early in their term is by selecting a new slate of appointees to oversee the LAPD, the Department of Water and Power, the region’s transit system, city animal shelters, street repairs and many other services. For now, those panels remain filled with scores of commissioners selected by former Mayor Eric Garcetti.