Thursday, July 7, 2016
Serial Shootings in the Echo Park Community NR16214tiLos Angeles: The LAPD Northeast Area Gang Enforcement Detail and Gang Impact Team detectives developed intelligence that focused on a gang that was possibly responsible for the series of shootings which resulted in the arrest of two suspects.
Beginning June 9, 2016, and ending June 27, 2016, there was a series of six separate incidents of aggravated assaults where gun shots were fired in the Echo Park Community of Los Angeles, in the general area of Alvarado Boulevard and Berkeley Street. The majority of the shooting victims were simply driving their vehicles in the area, when for no apparent reason, they were shot at. Fortunately, none of the victims were struck by gun fire. Ballistic evidence collected at each of the crime scenes revealed that a .45 caliber automatic handgun was used by the suspect(s). The LAPD Northeast Area Gang Enforcement Detail and Gang Impact Team detectives developed intelligence that focused on the gang possibly responsible for the series of shootings.
On June 27, 2016, at around 11:15 p.m., in a parking lot around the 1400 block of Glendale Boulevard, three male victims were approached by another group of four males between the ages of twenty and thirty, one of whom was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. Words were exchanged between the two groups, which was followed quickly by gunshots. One of the victims suffered a grazing gunshot to the head, which was non-life threatening. The victims and the suspects all fled the area. Northeast Patrol officers conducted a thorough preliminary investigation of the shooting. As the investigation continued, patrol officers detained a possible suspect in the shooting.
Northeast Area Gang Impact Team detectives assumed the investigation and were able to positively identify the four suspects from the shooting. The shooter, Christoper Meza and Benjamin Orellana, both gang members, were arrested. A search warrant was served on Meza's residence and a .45 caliber handgun, the same caliber as the evidence that was recovered at each of the six shooting scenes, was recovered. Preliminary forensic analysis has potentially linked all of the shootings.
Northeast Gang detectives met with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, who after careful review filed three counts of attempted murder on Meza and Orellana. Gang detectives are conducting additional follow-up investigation with the victims and reviewing video evidence that would enable the District Attorney's Office to consider filing charges on the two outstanding suspects.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Lieutenant John Cook, Officer in Charge, Gang Impact Team at (323) 561-3335. During non-business hours or on the weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Tipsters may also go to www.LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.