Shooting Leaves Security Guard Dead, Another Injured

April 23, 2008

Los Angeles: On Friday, April 18, 2008, Wilshire Area patrol officers responded to a "shots fired" radio call
at the Auto Zone located in the 1900 block of South Western Avenue. When the officers arrived, they discovered two victims suffering from gunshot wounds. An armed, uniformed security guard, Hernan Cardona, a 60-year-old, Hispanic male, died at scene, and a Black male in his 50s sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital and has since been released.

At around 10 p.m., Cardona and the second victim were outside the Auto Zone when they were ambushed by two armed suspects. Both suspects fired their weapons striking them several times. In an effort to protect himself, Cardona drew his service weapon and returned fire. It is unknown if any of the suspects were injured.

After the shooting, the suspects ran southbound on Western Avenue from Washington Boulevard to an awaiting dark-colored SUV parked on 20th Street. They were last seen driving westbound on 20th Street from Western Avenue.

The suspects were described as two Black males, ages 18 to 25. Both suspects had a thin build and were armed with pistols. The first suspect wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and white (possible basketball style) shorts, and the second suspect wore a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants. There is no description on the get away driver.

Councilman Herb Wesson has offered a $50,000 reward for the identification, arrest and conviction of the suspects. In addition, St. Moritz Security Services, Inc. Cardona’s employer, has also offered a $5,000 reward for the identification, arrest, and conviction of the suspects.

Anyone with any information regarding this case is urged to contact Wilshire Homicide detectives at 213-473-0446. During weekends and off-hours, call the 24-hour, toll-free anonymous tip line at 1-877-LAWFUL (1-877-529-3855).