Los Angeles: At a news conference this morning, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) 77th Division Criminal Gang Homicide Group detectives announced the arrest of two suspects for the recent murders of 13-year-old Daquan Allen and 22-year-old Ronnie Knighten.
On August 16, 2009, at about 12:20 p.m., 13-year-old Daquan Allen was walking southbound on Broadway from 88th Place with a friend when a lone male suspect approached and verbally confronted him. The suspect then produced a handgun and shot Allen in the upper torso. Allen collapsed to the ground, mortally wounded, and the suspect returned to a waiting vehicle and left the area. Allen was treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics where he died. The circumstances surrounding the murder led investigators to believe the shooting was gang related.
This incident sparked a series of shootings in LAPD’s Southeast and 77th Street Areas, leaving two more victims dead and at least three others wounded. As a result of these and other South Los Angeles incidents in July and August this summer, Chief Bratton formed a multi-agency task force to coordinate investigative efforts in the case.
Detectives worked tirelessly through an exhaustive investigation to identify and arrest the suspect involved in this murder. Cooperation and assistance from various Department entities, including a leading surveillance team, as well as other law enforcement partners, was critical to the success of the investigation.
In the early afternoon of Friday, August 28, 2009, LAPD detectives arrested 21-year old Los Angeles resident Christopher Thomas for Allen’s murder. Thomas remains in custody with bail set at $1 million.
On Tuesday, August 25, 2009, at around 10:40 p.m., LAPD Southeast Area and Metropolitan Division officers assigned to the newly formed task force responded to a “shots fired” radio call at 114 West 95th Street. At that time, officers saw a car speeding northbound through an alley blocks away from the scene and believed the occupants could be involved in the shooting. After officers caught up to the car and detained the occupants, their investigation linked the occupants to the shooting of the three young men on 95th Street, and they were arrested.
Later the next morning one of the victims, 22-year-old Ronnie Knighten, died of his wounds.
On Monday, August 31, 2009, the case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office where one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder were filed against 41-year-old Los Angeles resident Edward Olden. The suspect is in custody and has been denied bail.
Anyone with additional information regarding these cases is asked to call the LAPD Criminal Gang Homicide Group at 213-485-4341. During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “Crimes” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.” Tipsters may remain anonymous.