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Zeroing In on Gunman, Placentia Police Say

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Police narrowed their search Friday for a gunman who shot a 19-year-old Placentia man twice in the groin after an argument on a street corner.

“We have a partial name,” Placentia Police Lt. Chuck Babcock said, “and think we know where he lives.”

Babcock said that the victim, Rigoberto Gonzalez, was standing outside his apartment in the La Jolla neighborhood about 8:15 p.m. Thursday when he was approached by another resident of the area.

“Some words were exchanged about a prior incident,” Babcock said.

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The men then walked around the corner to the 800 block of West La Jolla Road and continued to argue, Babcock said. He added that police are “pretty sure we know what the fight was about” but declined to elaborate.

During the argument, the suspect pulled out a handgun and fired at Gonzalez, striking him twice in the groin, Babcock said. Gonzalez is recovering in a local hospital.

Babcock’s account on Friday differed from a previous police report, which speculated that the shooting was gang-related.

In the first account, police said Gonzalez was standing on the stairs outside his apartment speaking to his mother when he heard his name being called from a car. Gonzalez walked downstairs toward the vehicle, according to the first account, and saw a passenger pointing a gun at him. When Gonzalez turned to run, he was shot.

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Babcock could not account for the conflicting reports, saying only that “the first reports may not have been accurate (and) things started to change a little bit.”

“I’m pretty satisfied now as to what happened,” he said.


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