Mother of Murdered LAPD Officer Becomes an Innocent Victim of Gunfire NR09241rh

May 18, 2009

Los Angeles:  A woman was struck by a stray bullet while sitting inside her West Los Angeles home.

On Friday, May 15, 2009, at around 5:00 p.m., several suspects assaulted a male victim in the front yard of a home located in the 3100 block of Halm Avenue.  The male victim was struck several times in the face with a tire iron, and during the altercation one of the suspects took out a handgun.  As the suspect and male victim fought for control of the handgun, it discharged and a bullet went through the front door of the residence.  The female sitting inside her home was struck in the abdomen by the gunfire.  The original victim was able to overpower the suspect and gain control of the firearm.  The suspects then ran, got into an awaiting vehicle and drove away.

Both victims were transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. The male victim was treated and released and the female victim, the mother of slain Police Officer Ricardo Lizarraga who was killed in the line of duty on February 20, 2004, is listed in stable condition.

Detectives assigned to Robbery Homicide Division are handling the investigation and have identified and arrested three individuals involved.  Angelina Ruelas, a 35-year-old female Hispanic from Los Angeles, was arrested for attempt murder and is being held on $500,000 dollars bail.  Two suspects, Joshua Fells, a 25-year-old male Hispanic from Los Angeles, and Daniel Mendez, a 25-year-old Hispanic man also from Los Angeles, were arrested for parole violations and are being held without bail.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Robbery Homicide Detectives Wallace Tennelle or Luis Romero at 213-485-2129.  During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous.