Los Angeles police have arrested a suspect in a series of early-morning shootings Sunday in northeast San Fernando Valley that left three people dead and four others wounded.
A SWAT team arrested a person who had barricaded himself in a house on the 13700 block of Kismet Avenue in Sylmar, about 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles, Frank Preciado, a sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department said, adding, that the man was a “person of interest” in the shootings, according to the Los Angeles Times. Another LAPD officer said that the suspect was also wanted on a warrant for animal cruelty.
Efforts were made to contact the suspect on a cell phone but after police spotted him trying to flee the house, he was quickly arrested and was found with a shotgun, the LATimes reported, citing police officers. Witnesses reportedly said that two gunmen, driving a tan, gold or brown SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban or Chevrolet Tahoe, carried out the shootings, Preciado said.
The LAPD’s robbery and homicide division is investigating the shootings, which began before 6.am. on Sunday, when a family of five were driving to the Santa Rosa Catholic Church, and were shot at on Celis Street, about three miles south of where the suspect was apprehended. A 22-year-old woman was killed in the incident and her parents critically injured while her siblings suffered minor injuries, Preciado said.
At 6:35 a.m. another person was killed at the Sylmar Recreation Centre, about two miles from the 13700 block of Kismet Avenue, as he looked for recyclables. The person was shot as he walked toward the SUV in the parking lot. "They never got out of the vehicle," Preciado said, of the shooters.
A third person, identified as Gloria Esperanza Tobar, 59, was killed on Filmore Street in the 12900 block -- about 4.5 miles from where the suspect was arrested -- and residents reportedly called police after hearing the gunshots.
The people in the first and third shootings were reportedly on their way to church when they were killed. Identities of the other victims were not released as authorities worked on notifying their families, the LATimes reported.