Los Angeles: On April 7, 2003, at approximately 8:30 p.m., North Hollywood Area officers responded to an "Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Shots Fired" call in the 12000 block of Vanowen Street. Upon arrival, officers discovered the victim, 28 year-old Lewis Espinoza Ochoa, from North Hollywood, lying on the sidewalk suffering from gunshot wounds to his upper torso. He was transported by ambulance to a local Hospital where he was pronounced dead as a result of his injuries. The investigation has revealed that Ochoa was walking home from a local store when he was approached by an unknown assailant(s). The suspect(s) fired multiple shots at the victim for no apparent reason and fled the location. There are no suspects in custody and no weapon was recovered. No motive has been established and LAPD homicide detectives do not believe Ochoa was a gang member.
UPDATE: On April 24,2003, North Hollywood Area Detectives arrested three gang members for the death of Lewis Espinoza Ochoa. Detectives arrested 21 year-old Rafael Gonzalez, 20 year-old Rodolfo Leon and an unidentified male juvenile for the murder of Ochoa. Detectives are seeking further information and witnesses.
Anyone with information is urged to call North Hollywood Homicide Detectives at 818-623-4075. On weekends and off-hours, contact the 24-hour toll free number of the Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL, (1-877-529-3855).
This press release was prepared by Officer Jack Richter, Media Relations 213-485-3586.
Original Press Release PR03274 dated April 9, 2003.