A black-clad motorcyclist from Arcadia was arrested Monday as he sped away from the West Covina neighborhood where two men and a woman had been shot to death in what police said appeared to be a "coldblooded" act of execution.
"We really have no idea as yet about a possible motive in this case," West Covina police Lt. Dave Leonard said. "But the physical evidence seems to rule out a spur-of-the moment incident. This was a coldblooded act by someone who was determined to execute all three."
Officers arriving to investigate a report of shots fired found a man and a woman shot to death in the breezeway of a residence at 1109 South Sandy Hook St. and followed a trail of blood to another house two doors south, where they found a man shot to death in the kitchen.
The two dead men were identified as Scott Edward Hotson, 24, and Robert M. Green, 23, both of Arcadia. The woman's identity was withheld pending notification of her family.
The arrested cyclist was identified as Brian Lawrence Snoke, 23, of Arcadia.
Reconstructing the event with the help of witnesses, Leonard said it appeared that all three of the victims were initially shot after an argument in the kitchen of the house where one body was found. The gunman then apparently pursued his fleeing victims to the other house where he opened fire a second time, killing them both, Leonard said.
Two witnesses who live nearby said they saw a man "dressed all in black--black boots, jeans, jacket, helmet, everything"--walk hurriedly from the murder scene, mount a black motorcycle and roar away at high speed.
Police broadcast their description of the suspected slayer, and a West Covina officer arrested Snoke as he was about to enter the westbound ramp of the San Bernardino Freeway a few blocks from the scene.
A recently fired .357-magnum revolver and expended brass cartridge cases were found in his possession, and police said these would be examined to see if they match bullets taken from the three victims' bodies.
Snoke was booked on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon and for investigation of murder.