Gun Battle Erupts Inside Store, Shopkeeper & Customer Die

December 18, 2002

"Gun Battle Erupts Inside Store, Shopkeeper & Customer Die"
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Area Homicide Detectives are investigating a robbery that resulted in the murder of two Los Angeles residents.
On December 17, 2002, at approximately 1:20 p.m., two male Hispanics, both armed with handguns, entered Marces Hardware store located on the 4500 block of south Main Street, and attempted to rob the clerk at the register.
Storeowner Claro Cortez, armed with a gun, confronted the suspects and a deadly gun battle erupted. During the gunfight, three men were shot, including one of the suspects.
The suspects fled the store on foot and left the scene in a white Honda Accord. LAPD officers assigned to the Newton Area heard the shots and saw the Honda Accord flee the area. Stopping the vehicle, the officers took the three suspects into custody and recovered two handguns and a replica handgun.
Storeowner Cortez was transported to USCMC where he died from his injuries. Customer Vincent Fredericks was transported to California Hospital where he was pronounced dead from his gunshot wounds.
Three Los Angeles Area men; 29 year-old Jorge Martinez, 26 year-old Alejandro Viveros, and 29 year-old Jorge Sandivol, were all booked for Murder.
Newton Area Homicide Detectives are conducting the investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident is requested to call 213-485-5277. On weekends and during off-hours, please call the toll free information number at Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL, 1-877-529-3855.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jack Richter, Media Relations Section.