The Los Angeles Police Division arrested Dion Johnson on Monday in connection with three separate shootings. He was charged with the murders of 23-year-old Carlos Loera, 18-year-old Ashley Guzman and 17-year-old Joseph Saldaña, authorities introduced Thursday throughout a information convention with members of the victims’ households. Johnson was additionally charged with 5 counts of tried homicide in connection with 5 individuals who have been wounded through the shootings.
The mom and father of the wounded toddler, Guzman and Loera, have been killed Sept. 4 within the 1000 block of 253rd Avenue in Harbor Metropolis. When police arrived they discovered the couple’s son with a gunshot wound in a automobile seat. The kid’s automobile seat slowed down a bullet that ended up putting the boy, however he survived, stated LAPD Capt. Jamie Bennett.
A number of weeks later, Saldaña was shot and killed whereas visiting household within the 1200 block of North Park Western Drive in San Pedro on Sept. 30. He was standing exterior a relative’s house simply after midnight when he was shot, together with three different individuals who have been wounded.
Saldaña was killed just a few weeks earlier than his 18th birthday. He had been set to start out attending Cerritos School, the place he needed to review engineering, in accordance with his household. He was additionally set to start out his first job at Walmart.
“He was only a completely harmless child who stayed house and performed video video games. He was a gamer,” his father, Joseph Saldaña Sr. stated whereas sporting a button with a photograph of his son beaming with a vibrant smile.
“In each photograph, he simply radiated with that smile,” his godmother Monique Vasquez stated whereas sporting a locket with the youthful Saldaña’s ashes.
A 3rd capturing passed off Oct. 2 in Wilmington, the place police say a 43-year-old man was shot and significantly injured.
Murder investigators stated they have been in a position to hyperlink all three shootings to Johnson and stated there could also be further suspects. All of the shootings look like gang-related, Bennett stated, however investigators didn’t supply further details about a motive. Johnson has a felony document in Las Vegas from a time earlier than he moved to Los Angeles, authorities stated, however they didn’t say through which a part of town he lived when he was arrested.
“A 17-year-old was murdered, you had a younger couple making an attempt to lift a household, who have been murdered and you’ve got a younger son who has to undergo his life now with out his dad and mom,” stated Los Angeles Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace. “And that is one thing that no one desires to see.”
Los Angeles Metropolis Councilman Tim McOsker stated the gunman “wreaked havoc” on the communities affected by the shootings over the span of only a few weeks.
“Immediately offers us a possibility to face up for the households and to face up for the subsequent era of those households and for generations of those households,” he stated.
Vanessa Guzman and her household wore T-shirts with Ashley Guzman’s smiling face. She and her mom, Nora Galvan, sobbed through the information convention whereas they sat subsequent to a child provider with a colourful blanket draped over Ashley Guzman’s and Carlos Loera’s little one.
Vanessa Guzman described her sister as a little bit of a joker, who giggled, danced round and made faces to cheer up somebody who was upset.
“She was just like the lifetime of the social gathering,” Vanessa Guzman stated. “Now that she’s gone it simply feels very quiet.”