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Texas man charged with murder in Hollywood street race shooting that left teen girl dead

Two cars prepare to race on a smoke-shrouded street at night as spectators stand nearby
Street racers gather in Compton.
(Los Angeles Times)

A Texas man was charged with murder Tuesday in connection with a shooting at a street racing scene that left a teenage girl dead in the heart of Hollywood, prosecutors said.

Ramon Roque Monreal, 33, of El Paso was also charged with attempted murder after he allegedly sprayed bullets during a dispute near Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue early Sunday, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Alejandra Estrada, 17, of Huntington Park was killed during the altercation. A second victim was wounded, prosecutors said.

Monreal was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon, but his hearing was continued and he has not entered a plea. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

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Flowers and candles mark a sidewalk memorial in Hollywood
A sidewalk memorial was set up at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Hollywood for Alejandra Estrada, 17.
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

Monreal was armed with a handgun when he was arrested Sunday morning, Los Angeles police said. The shooting was captured in a number of videos posted to social media and appeared to spill out of an argument between two men in the busy intersection that is usually overrun with tourists on the Walk of Fame.

In one video, a man wearing a black shirt, dark pants and white shoes — who police say is Monreal — can be seen confronting a larger man wearing a white shirt, gray shorts and sandals.

“You down to do some [stuff] like that?” the man in the black shirt asks before pulling a handgun from his waistband. A third man who was watching the confrontation immediately swings and punches the gunman in the head twice from behind, knocking him to the ground.

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During the struggle, the gunman then appears to fire three quick shots as he jumps to his feet, scattering the crowd. Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said Estrada and the other victim were not involved in the dispute, though it was not clear if they were attending the street race or simply standing in the area when the shots rang out.

Earlier this year, police warned that street racers were taking advantage of empty roadways during the pandemic, with reports of sideshows, takeovers and roll races coming in from throughout the state not long after much of California shut down in response to the coronavirus.

A law enforcement official described the event that led to the shooting Sunday as a “full-blown takeover,” referring to incidents where street racers block sections of roadway to perform dangerous vehicle stunts, including burnouts.

A number of racers had come to Southern California from the Bay Area over the weekend as part of an event known as Bay-to-L.A., according to the official, who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly about an ongoing investigation.

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The dispute came after an L.A. racer smacked his hand against a car doing doughnuts near the Hollywood and Highland intersection, the official said. While that kind of behavior is common at L.A. takeovers, the official said, Monreal took offense to it.

Monreal has previously resided in Oakland and has been affiliated with Bay Area street racing crews, the official said.


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