Sheriff's deputies were searching for two men Monday--one of them wanted for one murder in Los Angeles and two in El Salvador--in connection with a Sunday night shootout in Walnut Park that left a deputy seriously wounded and one suspect dead.
Deputy Nelson Yamamoto, 26--who was shot in the abdomen, shoulder, leg and foot--remained in serious condition at the Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center on Monday after surgery.
Investigators said Yamamoto was wounded during a brief but intense gun battle with Cesar Uriel Mazariego-Molina, 26, and Isidro Ibarra, 30. Ibarra died in the gunfight, which took place outside a small home in the 2500 block of Cass Place in the unincorporated Los Angeles County area of Walnut Park, near the northwest city limits of South Gate.
Mazariego-Molina is a suspect in a North Hollywood murder and two murders in his native El Salvador, authorities said. He and his cousin, Juan Manuel Mazariego, 22, fled after the shootout and remained at large on Monday, deputies said. Officers said both men were believed armed and dangerous.
A 17-year-old boy who was found in the Cass Place home was questioned but was not booked, officers said.
The Sheriff's Department said Yamamoto and two other deputies from the Firestone Station went to the house at 8:10 p.m. Sunday in response to a resident's complaint that some men had been threatening him with a gun.
Directed to the home in a converted garage at the rear of the property, the deputies said they looked through a window and saw that at least two of the men inside were armed with handguns.
As the deputies waited outside the garage, Mazariego-Molina and Ibarra ran out and opened fire, said Sgt. Robert Stoneman, a Sheriff's Department spokesman. The deputies said they returned the fire at close range.
In the ensuing confusion, Mazariego-Molina and Mariego, who also had been in the converted garage, fled.
Deputies cordoned off the area in an attempt to find the men. Residents were asked to stay in their homes until dawn, when the search was called off.
Los Angeles police said one of the killings Mazariego-Molina is suspected of committing occurred in North Hollywood. Officials said they did not know the circumstances surrounding the homicides in El Salvador.