Sheriff investigating 4 homicides after violent night in southeast L.A. County

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A 14-year-old boy and a man were shot and killed outside elementary schools in Cudahy and Bell during a violent night that claimed a total of four lives in four separate shootings, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

Javier Pedraza Jr., 14, was killed Monday outside Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in the 5000 block of Live Oak Street in Cudahy, the Sheriff’s Department said. He and another boy were shot and found by deputies, who responded after receiving 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.

Video from KTLA-TV Channel 5 showed yellow police tape and a black canvas tent just outside the school shortly before students were set to arrive. The shooting took place about 12:19 a.m. and was reported to authorities shortly before 2 a.m., the Sheriff’s Department said.

Ellen Ochoa students were rerouted through a different entrance at the school Monday morning.

“The safety and well-being of our students” remain a top priority for the staff at the school, a Los Angeles Unified School District spokesperson said in a statement. “Please note, this is a non-school incident and our school community is safe.” 

Initially, law enforcement identified Pedraza as an adult.

The Martha Escutia Primary Center, an elementary school in Bell, was closed Monday morning because of an homicide investigation outside the campus, a Los Angeles Unified spokesperson said.

A man was shot to death in the 6000 block of Bear Avenue, the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. The shooting happened around 11:30 p.m. Sunday and the man died at the scene, according to homicide investigators who are assisting the Bell Police Department.

Students were rerouted to nearby Corona Avenue Elementary School, where teachers and support staff met with them for their school day. Mental health assistance was made available, LAUSD said.

“We take the safety of our students very seriously. We remain in communication with local authorities for important updates about our campus,” the district said in a statement.

About two miles away, a man was shot to death in the 6300 block of Santa Fe Avenue in the city of Huntington Park, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Department. A Huntington Park police officer out on patrol spotted a person lying in the street near a street curb. The officer got out to check on the man and saw that he had been shot in the upper part of his body, authorities said. The incident was reported around 2:30 a.m., shortly after the shooting took place, homicide investigators said.

The man died at the scene, according to authorities, who released no other information about the victim or any possible suspects.

Another man was shot to death less than two miles away in the 1500 block of East Florence Avenue in Florence-Firestone around 12:08 a.m., according to homicide investigators. They released no additional information about the victim or the incident. which was reported just before 2 a.m.

It’s unclear if any of the incidents are related, and all were under investigation as of Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Anyone with information about any of these incidents can contact 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-TIPS, or (800) 222-8477.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.