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Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives and Whittier Police Department investigators pieced together a violent, three-hour crime spree which took place on Saturday, April 29, 2017. The shocking crime route traversed through three jurisdictional areas, and resulted in the fatal shooting of a man and the injury of three others.
Detectives learned the abominable events began minutes after 1:00 P.M. when a pair of male and female suspects driving in a white KIA Rio fired shots from the vehicle at a pedestrian. The male victim was struck in the leg, in the 10000 block of Carmenita Road, in an unincorporated area of Whittier, within the patrol jurisdiction of the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station. He was transported for medical treatment and listed in stable condition.
At 2:15 P.M., the perilous pair appeared in the 11100 block of Rosehedge Drive, Pico Rivera, and carjacked a green Nissan Pathfinder at gunpoint. The male victim was startled but not injured, and Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to this incident.
The lawlessness continued at 3:35 P.M. in the 14900 block of Whittier Boulevard, Whittier, when a second victim, another pedestrian, was fired upon. One of the suspects shot at the man from the stolen Pathfinder and sped away from the scene. The victim, who was struck in the groin, was medically treated and listed in stable condition. Whittier Police Department personnel responded to the scene and handled the investigation.
Minutes later, at 3:41 P.M., a third shooting occurred in the 10200 block of Colima Road, Whittier. Rounds were fired at two motorists in a vehicle stopped for the traffic light, but they were not injured. Whittier Police Department personnel also responded to this scene and investigated.
The suspects proceeded southeast in the Pathfinder to the intersection of Imperial Highway and La Mirada Boulevard, La Mirada, where a fourth shooting occurred and the third victim was injured. At 4:00 P.M., a man seated in a vehicle was struck in the arm by gunfire; the suspects eschewed any concern for his welfare and fled the scene.
Norwalk Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to the La Mirada shooting but quickly learned another shooting occurred just south of them, at the intersection of Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road, La Mirada. The fourth victim, Jose Ricardo Sahagun, a 44-year-old father of two little boys, was struck multiple times with gunfire as he sat in his car, waiting at a traffic light. Other victims in nearby vehicles were also fired upon indiscriminately, but Jose was the only person injured and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
As the terror unfolded, communication between Norwalk and Pico Rivera Stations and Whittier Police Department was essential; minutes between each incident to relay descriptive information to local law enforcement partners were precious. Together, they compiled information and followed the destructive and senseless path of havoc in which two stolen vehicles were recovered, three people were injured and one person was killed; and for which investigators will spend countless of hours processing, and scores of tertiary parties will spend years trying to cope.
The ghastly tour appeared to be over around 6:30 P.M. when Norwalk deputies located the stolen Pathfinder in the parking lot of Amelia Mayberry Park, located in the 13200 block of Meyer Road, in an unincorporated area of Whittier. It was there the suspects unloaded the vehicle they used as a mobile gun turret.
Sheriff’s detectives learned Whittier police responded to a 911 call at 8:00 P.M. regarding two victims suffering gunshot wounds. Police found an injured man and woman in the 15000 block of Carmenita Road, Santa Fe Springs, and saw they matched the description of the suspects involved in the earlier shootings.
Both suspects were shot in the torso and when they realized the gravity of their injuries, they flagged down a concerned citizen and asked her to dial 911 for them. Shortly thereafter, help arrived at the scene…ironically from one of the agencies investigating their afternoon crime spree. The circumstances surrounding this incident are being investigated by Whittier Police Department personnel.
The suspects were transported for medical treatment and booked into the Los Angeles County jail system.
The male suspect was identified as Alejandro Lazo, 21, of Los Angeles County. He was booked for the charge of murder, 14 counts of attempted murder and one count of carjacking, and is being held in lieu of $16 million bail.
The female suspect was identified as Reyna Gomez, 27, of Los Angeles County. She was booked for the charge of murder, 14 counts of attempted murder, one count of carjacking and one count of torture and is being held in lieu of $16 million bail.
Investigation revealed the white KIA Rio in which the suspects were found was the vehicle used in the first shooting. It was reported stolen out of Ventura County and found to contain evidence of the suspects’ involvement in the earlier shootings.
A handgun recovered from the Rio was scientifically and conclusively found to match ballistic evidence recovered from each of the crime scenes.
Detectives learned Suspect Lazo drove the Pathfinder with Suspect Gomez in the front passenger seat. The two passed the handgun between the two of them, taking turns shooting at innocent victims. The string of violent shootings appears unprovoked, with everyday individuals running their Saturday errands senselessly becoming victims, randomly targeted by two predators on wheels.
Homicide Bureau detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and investigators from Whittier Police Department who collaborated during the investigation filed criminal charges with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday morning, May 4, 2017, at Downey Superior Court.
Both suspects are known gang members. Gang enhancements will be applied to all the filed charges.