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Law Enforcement News
Two Children Found In Car At Scene Of Deadly Shooting In Westlake
Two young children were found in a car in the aftermath of a deadly shooting late Tuesday in Los Angeles' Westlake area. Two people were killed in the shooting at about 11 p.m. Tuesday near Sixth Street and Westlake Boulevard. A 17-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man were killed and a third person was injured. Los Angeles police found two toddlers in a white sedan near the crime scene. Both children, who were not injured, were taken into protective custody. It was not immediately clear whether the children are related to the people involved in the shooting. Details about what led to the shooting were not immediately available, but police said it stemmed from a dispute.
Panorama City Murder Suspect Arrested In Texas: LAPD
A man wanted in connection with a fatal shooting in Panorama City earlier this month was arrested in Texas Tuesday, according to police. The suspect, 37-year-old Luis Enriquez Hernandez, was arrested in Houston by local authorities including the Houston Police Department and the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Hernandez was linked to the deadly Aug. 3 shooting near Parthenia Street and Tobias Avenue that claimed the life of a father of three Jonathan Santillano, 37, of Sylmar. Four other people were treated for wounds but survived. During the investigation, it was revealed that three vehicles were involved in a traffic collision. They were parked in the area where they were exchanging information when an unknown suspect approached the group and began shooting at them. Security video shows Santillano and his brother interacting with the drivers. Santillano worked at a body shop and had approached the drivers to offer advice and help. At that moment, a man was seen running across the street and opening fire. That man was later identified as Hernandez, who was seen running away from the scene.
Man With Gun Involved In Standoff With Police Near USC: LAPD
Police are involved in a standoff with a man allegedly armed with a gun near the University of Southern California Thursday morning. The call reporting a man with a gun in the 1200 block of South Flower Street in downtown Los Angeles came in around 5:50 a.m., Los Angeles Police Department Officer Madison confirmed. Officers were on scene and involved in a standoff with the suspect, Madison said. The USC Department of Public Safety asked the public to avoid the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Figueroa Street in University Park due to the police activity.
South LA Man Arrested For Alleged Pimping Of Teenager
A South Los Angeles man was arrested Wednesday on a five-count federal indictment alleging he recruited a 15-year-old girl for whom he acted as a pimp and advertised on the internet for sex work. Donavin Bradford, 31, pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, one count of sex trafficking of a minor, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of producing a sexually explicit visual depiction, and one count of possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. At his arraignment in downtown Los Angeles, Bradford was ordered jailed without bond, and an Oct. 25 trial date was scheduled. Prosecutors allege Bradford expected the girl to earn him $1,000 per night and, in exchange, he provided her with clothes and a place to stay, the indictment states. Bradford and co-defendant Layla Valdivia, 23, allegedly advertised the girl for commercial sex work on various websites, and customers who responded to the ads were directed to various hotels and motels where they engaged in sex acts with the victim.
Man With Machete Shot And Killed By Deputies In Watts
A man wielding a machete in Watts was fatally shot by deputies Wednesday morning. Authorities said they were responding to a call reporting a man with a knife in the street just after 7 a.m. in the area near Graham Avenue and 92nd Street. Officials said the suspect was trying to assault employees at a business in the area. When deputies arrived, they located the 40-year-old suspect in a pickup truck nearby. Authorities said the suspect punched and kicked two deputies before getting his machete and swinging it in the direction of the deputies. The suspect refused to put down the weapon and multiple deputies opened fire, according to authorities. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. His identity has not yet been released. Two deputies sustained minor injuries, authorities said. The investigation remains ongoing.
75 Aggravated Assaults Reported On LAUSD Campuses Last Year
With fights at Los Angeles Unified School District campuses making the rounds on social media, parents have grown concerned about their children's safety especially after school police suffered drastic staffing cuts. "I have to worry eight hours a day," said LAUSD mother Brittany Jackson. "Is my child going to make it back safe from school?" The drastic cuts have profoundly affected the Los Angeles School Police Department's personnel. In two years, the number of officers in the department has dropped nearly 20% from 374 to 300 sworn employees according to one estimate from LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. However, according to Interim Chief Steven Zipperman, the depart has lost over 140 officers. "We're about 230 strong," said Zipperman. "I think you have to understand we have a different service model." The new service model will no longer station officers inside of the schools. Instead, they will only come to campuses when they are called. However, the union that represents the officers says this will put more children in danger.
Chatsworth Man To Plead Guilty To Stalking Charges
A Chatsworth man is expected to plead guilty Wednesday in separate federal criminal cases alleging he stalked females over the internet in Los Angeles and Georgia. Alex Roberts, 27, has agreed to enter his plea to cyberstalking a Los Angeles woman by sending text messages threatening rape and murder. In the second case, he will plead guilty to stalking a 15-year-old girl in Georgia by sending a series of threatening and harassing messages, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The indictment in the L.A. case alleges that Roberts used text messages and internet communications to place the victim “in reasonable fear of death and serious bodily injury,” and that he intended to cause “substantial emotional distress.” After being told by the L.A. victim and her family that she did not want to communicate with Roberts, he allegedly created a listing on Craigslist that offered a room for rent at her home and invited prospective renters to “stop by anytime,” according to the indictment.
Video: Distraction Thieves Swipe Necklace Off Older Woman's Neck In Glendale
Glendale police were warning the community of distraction thefts after a couple thieves targeted an older woman, and swiped a necklace she'd received from her late husband more than 40 years ago. The victim's son said his aging mother in Glendale doesn’t normally do much everyday, so she’ll sit in the driveway with a neighbor and they’ll visit; that is her social life. The other day, she was in the driveway chatting when thieves stopped by. "I hope police can do something to stop them," said Haik, the victim’s son. During the interview with NBCLA, Haik's mother brought out snacks when our crew arrived. "She’s such an open heart, sweet lady," he said. She’s Armenian and doesn’t speak English, but is welcoming, and that’s why when a woman showed up on her driveway last Friday, she greeted her. "My mom thought that was a neighbor who wants to park in the parking spot," Haik said. But Haik said that women, her friend, and a young boy were there to steal. Haik said they told his mom they were selling a necklace. When one woman attempted to put something around her neck, they took off his mom’s gold necklace, stealing the gift she received from her late husband more than 40 years ago.
Man Who Tried To Make 12-Year-Old Girl His ‘Pet’ And ‘Slave’ Pleads Guilty In Federal Sex Crimes Case
A former California resident arrested in Indiana amid a federal sex crimes investigation agreed to a plea deal. Matthew Christian Locher, 31, faced a nine-count indictment alleging sexual exploitation of multiple underage girls. He pleaded guilty this week to one count of sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of producing a sexually explicit visual depiction, according to the Department of Justice. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison. Locher, whose various aliases included “The Hat,” “Matt the Hat,” “Hey There” and “Shark,” moved to Indianapolis in summer 2021 and was arrested January 2022. He’d relocated after federal authorities executed a search warrant at his home in California. He was taken back to California after his arrest and remained in federal custody. Federal prosecutors said Locher targeted girls suffering from mental illness, inducing them to send him explicit photos and videos. The victims lived in various states, including Tennessee, California and Ohio.
Indiana Officer Shot During Traffic Stop To Be Taken Off Life Support
An Indiana police officer who has been in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital since she was shot three weeks ago will be taken off life support Thursday, the Richmond Police Department announced. Officer Seara Burton was shot in the head during an Aug. 10 traffic stop in Richmond. At the time, police said that an arrest was made in the shooting. Burton's K9 partner Brev, who was not injured, has been in the care of one of the Richmond police investigators who used to be a K9 handler. In the announcement, police said that Burton's injuries were "unrecoverable," and she would be taken off life support Thursday. They also said Burton would live on and "continue to be a hero" by donating organs. "Seara's family wanted to include the community in sharing this information. The incredible outpouring of support has been truly heartwarming. We ask that you please respect their privacy during this time," the release said. Final arrangements will be announced in the coming days.
Public Safety News
5,155-Acre Route Fire In Castaic Forces Evacuations
A brush fire is burning early Thursday in dry vegetation alongside the Golden State (5) Freeway in Castaic. The Route Fire has burned 5,155 acres and is 0% contained, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which reported no structures had been damaged by the flames by Wednesday night. Evacuation orders are in effect north of Northlake Hills Elementary School, south of Templin Highway, including the Paradise Ranch Mobile Estates, east of the Golden State Freeway and west of Castaic Lagoon. Seven county firefighters suffered heat-related injuries while battling the blaze, and five of them were taken to a hospital for treatment, according to the department. All injured firefighters were said to be in good condition Wednesday evening. The fire was reported around noon Wednesday near Lake Hughes Road. Firefighters in helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft were dispatched to the scene in hopes of halting the progress of the fast-moving fire.
Local Government News
LA City Council Members Seek Citywide Plan To Combat Street Takeovers
Los Angeles could have a citywide plan to address street takeovers, with five City Council members filing a motion Wednesday seeking reports and analysis for a multi-year work plan and funding strategy. In the last eight months, at least six people have died during or near street takeovers in Los Angeles, according to a motion signed by council members Monica Rodriguez, Kevin de Leon, John Lee, Bob Blumenfield and Mike Bonin. Prominently, there have been incidents on the Sixth Street Bridge, which opened July 10 to much fanfare but was soon overshadowed by those who came to perform street takeovers, spinouts and other activities blocking traffic — resulting in several closures. “Street racing and takeovers are serious and pose imminent threats to everyone where these reckless activities happen,” de Leon said in a statement. “Los Angeles can and must implement measures to prevent these trending dangers on our city streets. The streets of L.A. must be made safe.”
Vicente Fernández Street Renaming: LA Council Finalizes Plans To Honor Legendary Mexican Singer
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday finalized the renaming of a Boyle Heights street east of Mariachi Plaza after Mexican singer Vicente "Chente" Fernández, who died at the age of 81 last year. A date for a renaming ceremony is expected to be announced in the coming days, according to the office of Councilman Kevin de León, who introduced the motion. "The legacy of Vicente Fernández continues to resonate and inspire people worldwide, making us proud to call ourselves Latino," de León said. "Through his music, he has etched his place in history on the hearts of fans who will forever cherish him." In an earlier statement, the councilman called Fernández a "cultural icon," adding that his "music and talent impacted generations of Latinos, not only in his native homeland of Mexico, but across the globe." "This name change will benefit the mariachis at La Plaza and increase people visiting Boyle Heights, allowing all of the businesses to benefit from the food and music that we serve there," said Sandra Villalobos, a representative of Organización de Mariachis Independiente de California. The council's decision follows the city of Pico Rivera remaining a street leading into the Pico Rivera Sports Arena last week in honor of Fernández.
Los Angeles City Council Splits On Appointment Of Heather Hutt To Represent 10th District
The 10th District of Los Angeles continues without a voting representative Wednesday, after the proposed appointment of Heather Hutt as an interim council member was delayed. Five council members – Bob Blumenfield, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mike Bonin, Nithya Raman, and Monica Rodriguez – had voted against considering the appointment, which was introduced Friday by Council President Nury Martinez. Council members Kevin de León, Gil Cedillo, Mitch O'Farrell and Paul Koretz seconded Martinez's motion proposing to appoint Hutt. The motion had required 10 votes for a public hearing to go forward Tuesday, so the matter was delayed for committee discussion. Hutt had been serving as caretaker of the district. Martinez nominated her for the seat after Herb Wesson, who was appointed an interim council member earlier this year, resigned last week. Wesson was intended to replace indicted Councilman Mark-Ridley Thomas.