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News Release

Thursday, August 12, 1999

Media Relations

North Valley Jewish Community Center Shooting

Thursday, August 12, 1999

The Los Angeles Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are conducting a joint investigation regarding a series of crimes that occurred on August 10, 1999 in Devonshire Area.

On August 10, 1999 at 10:49 am, a male White suspect armed with an apparent assault weapon entered the North Valley Jewish Community Center located at 16601 Rinaldi Street. The suspect began shooting at occupants of the building, ultimately wounding five persons, including three children. The suspect fled the location prior to the arrival of Los Angeles Police Department patrol units.

At 11:05 am, a male White suspect armed with a handgun confronted a female victim in the rear of the 16100 block of Roscoe Blvd, and robbed the victim of her vehicle, a 1999 Toyota Corolla. The suspect fled the scene in the victim's vehicle. The victim was not injured.

At approximately 11:53 am, Joseph Ileto, age 39, a United States Postal Service employee, was shot and killed while delivering mail in the 9900 block of Valley Circle Court.

Detectives from Devonshire Area, Robbery-Homicide Division, and representatives from the FBI and ATF responded to the crime scenes and initiated investigations. A command post was established and scores of detectives and special agents were assigned to the investigations.

As the result of evidence and information gathered by the investigating officers, it was determined that the suspect involved in the shooting at the North Valley Jewish Community Center and the robbery of the female victim was the same person. The suspect was identified as Buford Furrow, a male White, 37 years of age. A nationwide search was launched for suspect Furrow.

At approximately 3:15 pm, the vehicle stolen from the female victim was located parked in a motel parking lot in the 21600 block of Devonshire Street. An extensive search of the motel and surrounding area was conducted by Devonshire Area and SWAT personnel. The suspect was not located.

As the investigations progressed, additional information was developed that also implicated suspect Furrow in the murder of Mr. Ileto.

On August 11, 1999 at approximately 8:55 am, suspect Furrow turned himself in to the FBI office in Las Vegas, Nevada. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Robbery-Homicide detectives, who flew to Las Vegas in the morning of August 11, interviewed suspect Furrow.

The investigation of the crimes is continuing.

Persons with information regarding the crimes may contact Robbery-Homicide Division at telephone 213-485-2129, or on off-hours, Detective Headquarters Division, at telephone 213-485-2504.

Listen to the 9-1-1 calls for this incident

For Release 1:00 pm PDT
August 12, 1999