Man Held in Killing of Woman, Wounding of 3 Other People

Times Staff Writer

A 62-year-old man suspected of killing a woman and wounding three other people in a Christmas Eve shooting spree in Los Angeles was arrested without incident Thursday by police in San Jose.

The suspect, identified as Isaac Balleza, was taken into custody about noon by officers who had been told he might be with relatives in San Jose, according to authorities there.

Balleza was believed to have fled Wednesday night from the scene of the shootings in a house in the 1000 block of North Alexandria Avenue.

Officer John Sprankle of the Rampart station said the body of Patria Sampiano, 54, was found inside the house at about 9:30 p.m., shortly after members of the Los Angeles Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team stormed inside expecting to confront a gunman.

Patrol officers who first arrived were met outside the home by two women and a man, each of whom had been wounded, Sprankle said. The dead woman's husband, Francisco Sampiano, 59, and a daughter, Mary, 21, were taken to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where they were listed in critical and good condition, respectively. A nursing supervisor said both had been shot more than once.

A fourth victim, identified by Sprankle as the suspect's wife, was taken to Queen of Angels Medical Center. Thelma Balleza, in her early 40s, was reported in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery for multiple gunshot wounds to her abdomen, according to a medical center spokeswoman.

Sprankle said investigators were not sure what prompted the incident.

In San Jose, Officer William Winter said that investigators captured Balleza without incident Thursday morning as he was driving away from a relative's home.

Balleza was being held in the Santa Clara County Jail.

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