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News Release

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Media Relations

Two Suspects in Custody for Gang Related Shooting

"Two Suspects in Custody for Gang Related Shooting"


Los Angeles: In the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 29, 2002, a 17-year old Hispanic male and two companions were standing on the driveway of 2707 Pirtle Street where they were confronted by two Hispanic male suspects who approached them in a red van. Without provocation, the suspects opened fire on the group, firing numerous shots. When the shooting ceased, the suspects fled the scene in the red van and the victim lay mortally wounded. Two of the victim's companions were injured by the gunfire and were transported to area hospitals for treatment. The companions are expected to survive their injuries.

Several calls from the community were placed to 911 operators who dispatched Northeast Area units and Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics. Two Northeast Area uniformed officers responding to the call for service, which included suspect and vehicle information, observed a vehicle matching the description fleeing the scene. The officers chased after the fleeing van and a vehicle pursuit ensued. The chase of the vehicle was interrupted when the van abruptly came to a stop near Echo Park Lake and a passenger inside the van exited the vehicle and ran toward the lake. The suspect was chased on foot. The chase ended when the suspect jumped into the lake and was taken into custody at the water's edge after he was seen throwing what appeared to be a gun into the water.

The secondary black and white vehicle in the initial pursuit continued to pursue the van that immediately sped from the scene after the passenger ran from the vehicle. The pursuit of the driver of the van continued east from Echo Park and culminated in his arrest without further incident in the City of Alhambra. Detectives called upon the Department's Underwater Dive Team to assist in a search of the waters of Echo Park Lake adjacent to where the suspect was taken into custody. Minutes after the underwater search began, divers located, photographed and ultimately recovered a firearm.

27-year old Damian Brand of Culver City and 29-year old Anthony Ruiz of Los Angeles were booked for murder with $1,000,000.00 bail each.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Northeast Homicide Detective Unit at 213-847-4261. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jose L. Rodriguez Sr., Media Relation Section, 213-485-3586.