Man suspected in Valley shooting rampage pleads not guilty

Man suspected in five-day shooting rampage in the San Fernando Valley pleads not guilty

A Sylmar man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to killing four people during a five-day shooting rampage in the San Fernando Valley.

Alexander Hernandez, 34, has been charged with 22 counts in connection with the shooting spree last summer, according to Jane Robison, spokeswoman of the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.

He is charged with the deaths of Mariana Franco, 23, Michael Planells, 29, Gildardo Morales, 48, and 59-year-old Gloria Tovar.

Los Angeles police and sheriff's investigator said Hernandez was the only suspect in the series of attacks.

In all the shootings, the suspect was described as a lone gunman firing a shotgun from a gold or tan-colored sport-utility vehicle.

The shooting spree began on Aug. 20, when a 42-year-old driver was wounded by gunfire as she exited the 5 Freeway in Atwater Village.

The next day, authorities say Morales was found shot to death in his truck at a Pacoima intersection.

Over the next few days, random shootings were reported throughout the area.

A couple driving in West Hollywood were followed Aug. 22 by a tan or gold SUV, which pulled alongside them and opened fire.

The couple were not struck, but a sheriff’s official said their Toyota sustained damage from three shotgun blasts.

The following day, a gunman shot three dogs in Pacoima. The owners told LAPD investigators they had seen the gunman before. His tan SUV had broken down in front of their house the week before.

Then on Aug. 24 three people were shot to death within an hour of each other. 

Hernandez is accused of gunning down Tovar as she waited to pick up a friend from church. Planells was killed as he searched for cans at the Sylmar Recreation Center.

Franco was fatally shot while driving to morning Mass with her family.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
47°