Update; Murder Suspect Identified

November 24, 2004

Los Angeles:
On November 5, 2004 , at 5:50 p.m., 23 year-old Eduardo Cardenas,
of Van Nuys, was driving his car east on Saticoy Street , stopped
for the red light at White Oak Avenue . He noticed that a blue
Honda to his left did not have its headlights on, so he called
out to the two occupants of the car to make them aware of it. The
passenger in the Honda pulled out a gun and fired several shots
at Cardenas , striking him in the upper torso. The Honda then
executed a quick left turn and was last seen driving northbound
on White Oak Avenue . Cardenas was able to drive a short
distance, stopping his car in a nearby parking lot. He exited his
car, then collapsed to the ground.

His 12 year-old cousin was a passenger in the car at the time.
Witnesses to the incident called 911 and Cardenas was transported
by Los Angeles City Fire Department paramedics to Northridge
Hospital , where he died shortly after arrival.

After an extensive investigation, the shooting suspect has been
identified as 20 year-old Mario Alberto Pichardo, a member of a
Van Nuys area street gang, who is believed to have been involved
in several other violent crimes in the past few weeks. He is
believed to be responsible for a stabbing at a party in Canoga
Park on the night following the Cardenas murder.

Pichardo, a Mexican native, is believed to have fled the country.
A warrant charging him with the Cardenas murder, the stabbing the
following night, and another assault and attempted robbery that
occurred on October 30, 2004, in Reseda, has been issued for his

Pichardo is described as a male
Hispanic, shaved head, brown eyes, 5′ 9″, 200 lbs. with numerous
tattoos on his arms, chest and back. He was last known to reside
in Van Nuys and should be considered armed and

Anyone having any information regarding this case is asked to
call the West Valley Homicide Detectives, at 818-342-0449. On
weekends and during off-hours, call the toll free 24-hour ant the
Detective Information Desk, at 1-877-Lawfull (1-877-529-3855).

This news release was prepared by the Los Angeles Police
Department’s Media Relations Section, at 213 485-3586.