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News Release

Friday, July 29, 2005

Media Relations

Young Adult's Dream Shattered By Gang Violence

Los Angeles:  Southwest Homicide Detectives are investigating the shooting death of Loli Casteneda, a 25-year-old male Hispanic, who was once an Explorer at 77th Street Area Police Station and recently began the hiring process for the Los Angeles Police Department.

On Thursday, July 28, 2005 at about 11:45 p.m., Castaneda and his friend, a 26-year-old male Hispanic, were shopping at a local grocery store located in the 2600 block of South Vermont Avenue. 

According to the investigation and surveillance tape from the grocery store, after making their purchase, the victims walked out of the store and three suspects followed them out.  The victims walked directly to Castaneda’s car and got in.  The suspects walked up to the passenger side of Castaneda’s car and fired one round, striking Castaneda, who was in the drivers seat.  Castaneda drove his car to a different section of the parking lot and called for help. 

Castaneda received a life threatening wound to his upper body and was transported to a local hospital where he died.  The passenger was not injured.

Based on information received during the immediate course of the investigation, Southwest patrol and gang officers arrested two suspects a short distance from the crime scene.  The suspects, both male Blacks, are 17 and 18 years old.  The suspects have been arrested for 187(A) PC - Murder.

During the follow up investigation, Southwest Detectives conducted several search warrants, looking for a third suspect involved in this murder investigation.  The outstanding suspect was subsequently located at about 3:00 p.m., and has been detained for questioning.  He has been identified as a 21-year-old Black male.

The suspect’s identifications are not being released at this time.  The motive appears to be gang related.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Southwest Homicide Detectives at 213-485-2417.  On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).