Two people were arrested Tuesday in connection with the shooting deaths of four people in southeast Los Angeles County late Sunday and early Monday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Homicide investigators allege that the shootings were connected although they are not sure how.
The shooting deaths spanned a few hours in the cities of Huntington Park, Bell, Cudahy and Los Angeles, according to homicide investigators.
“Detectives have arrested two suspects believed to be involved in the four murders,” Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, told The Times. “Detectives also believe that there might be a third suspect.”
Law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation but not authorized to comment publicly say the shootings are linked somehow, but there is no information about the motive.
The first victim was identified as Kevin Parada, 24, who was shot around 11:30 p.m. Sunday and found in a driveway near the Martha Escutia Primary Center, an elementary school in Bell, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Roughly 30 minutes later, another person was shot and killed in the 1500 block of East Florence Avenue in Los Angeles. That shooting was reported to law enforcement at 1:52 a.m., but the victim is believed to have been shot around 12:08 a.m., homicide investigators said. The victim, described only as a man, has not been identified pending notification of next of kin.
About four miles away, a 14-year-old boy was killed outside Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in the 5000 block of Live Oak Street in Cudahy. Javier Pedraza Jr. was shot to death shortly before 2 a.m., the Sheriff’s Department said. He and another boy who had been shot were found by deputies who responded after reports of gunfire in the area. Paramedics were called to treat the teens, but Pedraza died at the scene.
The second victim was transported to a hospital in stable condition, according to authorities. Pedraza is a Cudahy resident, and his identity was confirmed by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner.
The last person shot and killed Monday morning, another unidentified man, was found in the 6300 block of Santa Fe Avenue in the city of Huntington Park. A Huntington Park police officer on patrol spotted a person lying on the street near a sidewalk curb at 2:37 a.m., according to a news release. When the officer approached the man, he saw the victim was shot in the upper part of his body. Paramedics arrived, but the man died at the scene, authorities said.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn called the shootings “troubling to me and the residents of these cities.”
“I have been in contact with the cities of Bell, Cudahy and Huntington Park and offered any assistance we can provide,” Hahn said in a statement. “It is especially concerning how close two of these shootings were to schools. I am confident that our Sheriff’s Department will find those responsible. If you have any information that could assist our detectives in this investigation, I urge you to come forward as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information can call the department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can be made to the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers through its website or by dialing (800) 222-8477.