Trio of weekend homicides include shooting over dog's injuries

Trio of weekend homicides include shooting over dog's injuries
Homicide detectives examine the scene of a roll-over crash in South El Monte. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Sheriff's detectives were busy Saturday with three new homicide investigations around Los Angeles County, including a shooting in the Antelope Valley that stemmed from an argument over a dog.

The dispute that appeared to have triggered that slaying Friday night in Lancaster began when a motorist struck and injured a dog, authorities said. The owner, a 22-year-old man coroner's officials identified as Michael Davis, apparently became upset, said Lt. Victor Lewandowksi of the sheriff's Homicide Bureau.


"There was a confrontation about 'You hurt my dog. I need some money for the vet,'" Lewandowski said.

The motorist, a man whom witnesses said was driving a black pickup truck, left. But he returned sometime later and gunned Davis down in a parking lot in the 600 block of East Avenue H14, Lewandowski said.

The condition of the dog was not known.

In the second case, detectives were investigating a possible connection between a roll-over crash in South El Monte and the shooting of a motorist in the same area.

"We have reports that there was some sort of altercation on the roadway in Pico [Rivera] between the two vehicles," Lewandowski said.

Highway patrol officers were called to the scene of an overturned Mitsubishi sedan on an entrance ramp to the Pomona Freeway just before 10 p.m. Friday. The driver had fled and a passenger, identified by the coroner's office as 19-year-old Jonathan Loaiza of Bell Gardens, was dead. There were two guns in the car, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

About the same time, a man was taken to a hospital for gunshot wounds sustained in a car, the release said.

An autopsy was pending and it was not known whether Loaiza's death was caused by the crash, gunfire or something else. Initial information suggested the shooting "may go be beyond road rage. There may be some gang component to it," Lewandowski said.

In the third case, a South L.A. man was shot multiple times in his driveway in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood. The name of the victim, who was in his early 20s, was not released pending the notification of relatives.

"We have no witnesses other than folks who heard gunshots," Lewandowski said of the shooting in the 8600 block of Mary Avenue.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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