2nd Gunman Still Sought in Slaying of 2 in Sepulveda

Times Staff Writer

A gunman who participated in the killing of two bystanders and the wounding of another at a Sepulveda apartment complex was still at large Tuesday, Los Angeles police said.

A second man suspected in the slayings, Edward T. Furnace, 23, of Van Nuys, was shot in the leg during his capture Monday, police said.

Investigators concluded that the three men who were shot did not know the gunmen who fired on them behind the apartment complex in the 8800 block of Langdon Avenue late Sunday after an apparent drug dispute.


One of the men killed was identified Tuesday as Willie Johnson, 21, of Panorama City. The name of a 28-year-old Saugus man who was also killed has not been released because his family has not been located. The third man, Timothy Brown, 24, of Sepulveda, was shot in the back. He was listed in stable condition at Northridge Hospital Medical Center.

“We believe they were innocent bystanders,” Los Angeles Police Lt. L.A. Durrer said of the victims. “They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Furnace was captured at an apartment in the 15600 block of Vanowen Street, police said. He was shot when he pointed a gun at one of two officers waiting for him in the apartment, police said.

Furnace was in good condition at County-USC Medical Center, where he is being held without bail on suspicion of murder.

Cocaine, Cash Seized

Also arrested at the Vanowen apartment were Sophina Newsome, 27, on suspicion of murder and Debra Elaine Frazier, 29, on a felony warrant for narcotics sales. Police said a small amount of cocaine and $10,000 in cash were seized.

Investigators said they believe that Newsome sent Furnace and his accomplice, whom police have not identified, to the Sepulveda apartment to seek retaliation against a man involved in a New Year’s Eve drug deal that had gone awry.

The gunmen kicked open the door to one apartment but did not find the man, who lived in another apartment, police said. As the two left the complex, they fired into a group of men at the rear, hitting the victims, police said.