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VAN NUYS : 3rd Suspect in Slaying Identified

A third suspect has been identified in the slaying of a Coca-Cola salesman who was shot to death while talking on a pay phone during the robbery of a Van Nuys supermarket, the Los Angeles Police Department said Friday.

Detectives are searching for Ramon Reyes, 25, who allegedly fired the gun that killed Robert Ward at the Ralphs supermarket Oct. 19, Detective James Rahm said. Reyes is described as a male Latino, 5-foot-11, and weighing 170 pounds, with a scar on his right hand and a pierced left ear.

Rahm said Reyes is known to hang out at an apartment building at 12601 Pierce St. in Pacoima and also in the Sylmar area. Reyes is a gang member who goes by the name “Suicide” or “Suicidal” and he should be considered armed and dangerous, Rahm said.

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Detectives also are searching for Louie Velarde, 21, one of Reyes’ alleged accomplices, Rahm said. Jose Santillan, 19, of Pacoima, another suspected accomplice, surrendered to San Fernando police Nov. 19.

A total of $50,000 in rewards for information in the case has been offered by the city, Ralphs and the Coca-Cola Co.

Ward, 28, of Palmdale was talking on the phone when robbers came in and ordered him to get off the phone. He apparently did not realize the order came from a robber and said he would be done with the call in a minute. He was then shot.


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