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Suspect in Irvine Killing Is Named : Probe: Police are seeking a parolee who worked part time for Gregory Hebdon, the victim of a shooting outside his home last week.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Police issued a murder arrest warrant for a suspected Carson gang member in connection with the fatal shooting last week of Irvine businessman Gregory Hebdon, authorities announced Tuesday.

Police identified Ramon Marion Patterson, 25, a parolee and former temporary employee of Hebdon’s Irvine business, as one of two suspects who gunned down the 30-year-old father of two at his townhome Friday. Police obtained the warrant for Patterson on Monday afternoon, after eyewitnesses pointed him out in police photos, Irvine Police Lt. Sam Allevato said.

“We are hoping we can locate him before he leaves the state,” said Allevato, standing in front of Patterson’s getaway car, a leased 1995 Lexus GS. “He has limited resources, he’s unemployed, and hopefully he has no car.”

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Police could still offer no motive for Irvine’s first homicide this year and have been unable to identify the second assailant. Police have been tight-lipped about details in the case, fearing that the release of too much information might jeopardize a successful prosecution.

During a brief news conference Tuesday afternoon, Allevato disclosed that one of the two men fired at least six shots from a 9-millimeter pistol into the head and chest of Hebdon after an argument in the victim’s alleyway behind his East Yale Loop townhome. Police confirmed that Hebdon had one wrist handcuffed, but wouldn’t comment further.

Patterson worked for one week in January at Hebdon’s franchise business, Servpro, which specializes in repairing homes damaged by water and fire. Patterson was apparently hired through “a friend of a friend,” according to store employees.

Police determined that Patterson’s luxury car, which he leased from a Nevada leasing company according to Department of Motor Vehicle records, was used to flee the scene. Police found the vehicle abandoned in the Carson area Friday night.

Employees expressed astonishment this week that Patterson is a prime suspect. Mike Macy, the store’s business manager, praised Patterson’s work ethic and reliability.

“We were surprised,” said Macy. “He seemed religious. He wouldn’t even drink sodas, just water.”

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Patterson was released from state prison in Corcoran in Central California in July, 1993, after serving a little more than half of a four-year sentence on a robbery conviction, according to records from the state Department of Corrections. Patterson is suspected of being a member of a “subgroup of the Los Angeles Crips,” a notorious gang in Los Angeles County, Allevato said.

Police are appealing to the public for help in locating Patterson, who should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information regarding the crime is asked to contact Larry Montgomery at (714) 724-7173 or (714) 724-7011.

Private funeral services for Hebdon will be held Friday.

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