PRESS RELEASE UPDATE
"ICE CREAM VENDOR KILLED"
Los Angeles – On Monday, April 23, 2001, at approximately 6:50PM, Devonshire Area Patrol officers and the Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics responded to a radio call regarding a shooting in front of an apartment complex located in the 8700 block of Variel Avenue, in Canoga Park. When officers arrived, they observed an ice cream vending truck stopped in the southbound traffic lane. A female victim was discovered inside the truck. The victim had sustained a single gunshot to the upper torso. Despite the paramedics attempt to save the victim, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation revealed that one suspect approached the ice cream truck and shot the victim for unknown reasons, although robbery is the suspected motive. It has not been established whether the suspect removed property from the victim or truck prior to leaving the scene on foot. The suspect has been described as a male, Black, black hair, 5′-5’05", 120lbs, and 16-18 years old.
The victim has been identified as Carolyn Jean LaFleur, a 55 years old resident of Van Nuys. The victim was the sole operator of the vending truck, and she has sustained the route surrounding the crime scene for several years.
Devonshire Homicide Detectives are handling the investigation. Anyone with information that may assist in this investigation is urged to contact Devonshire Homicide Detectives R. Bogison and B. Cochran at 818-756-8291.
On Friday, April 27, 2001, a motion was presented to the Los Angeles City Council by Councilmember Hal Bernson, requesting the Council to offer a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of the suspect responsible for the death of Carolyn LaFleur. The motion was passed and a press conference designed to announce the existence of the reward will be held on May 3, 2001, at Devonshire Community Police Station, at 3:00 P.M. The press conference will be attended by members of the LaFleur family, as well as a representative for Councilmember Bernson and staff officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.
This press release was prepared by Officer Hayley Purece, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.
On Thursday, July 12, 2001, the assigned Homicide Detectives, assisted by the Devonshire Community Law Enforcement and Recovery Unit (CLEAR), served a search and arrest warrant in the 20900 Block of Gresham Street, relative to this investigation. One juvenile suspect was taken into custody. Following additional investigation, the case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and one count of murder, with an attached special circumstance of attempted robbery, was secured. The suspect is a seventeen year old male Black, resident of Canoga Park, and is a documented gang member. There is no further information available at this time. Any further inquiries should be directed to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, at 818-756-4057.