Four Dead in String of Drive-By Shootings in Southeast Los Angeles County

Four people have been killed in a series of drive-by shootings that occurred within a five-mile radius in Southeast Los Angeles County. The violent spree began with gunshots fired in Bell, half an hour before midnight, where one man was found dead outside an elementary school. Two men in a red vehicle were seen fleeing the scene. Over the next 90 minutes, three more individuals were fatally shot in separate incidents, including a 14-year-old boy.

Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged 42-year-old Gary Garcia Jr. and 20-year-old Timberland McKneely with four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder with special circumstances. Both suspects, believed to be affiliated with street gangs, are being held on $2-million bail. The motive behind the shootings remains unknown, and investigators have not yet recovered the weapons used in the attacks.

Community leaders expressed relief upon hearing about the charges, but the reason behind the shootings still remains unclear. Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn emphasized the need for accountability, stating that the men responsible must be held answerable for the pain they caused and the lives they took.

The shootings sent shockwaves throughout the affected communities, leaving family members of the victims grieving and residents reeling. A vigil was held outside Martha Escutia Primary Center to honor one of the victims, 24-year-old Kevin Parada, who died lying in a driveway outside the elementary school. The vigil attendees sang prayers and offered condolences to the grieving families.

The shootings unfolded rapidly, with the first incident targeting Parada and another man at around 11:30 p.m. Thirty-four minutes later, a 27-year-old man was shot and killed in a parking lot in an unincorporated area of the county. Four miles east, at the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center, 14-year-old Javier Pedraza Jr. was fatally shot along with a 13-year-old boy just 12 minutes after the previous shooting. The 13-year-old was wounded and taken to a hospital for treatment. The final victim, an unidentified person aged between 35 and 45, was shot five minutes before 2 a.m. in Huntington Park.

The suspects were apprehended after a red Honda Pilot, matching the description captured on surveillance footage at each crime scene, was stopped by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies. One suspect was taken into custody during the stop, while the second suspect was arrested after a SWAT team executed a search warrant at a Compton residence. Investigators suspect that a third person may also be linked to the shootings.

If convicted, both Garcia and McKneely face life in prison without the possibility of parole due to the special circumstances attached to the charges. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, along with homicide detectives and multiple law enforcement resources, worked tirelessly to identify and apprehend the suspects responsible for these senseless murders.

Author: CrimeDoor

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