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California

4th shooting in 6 days in La Puente not gang-related but others might be, authorities warn

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Deputies responded to reports of a shooting at the Valley Inn motel early Wednesday.
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In the fourth shooting in La Puente in just six days, a man was injured by gunfire after a fight broke out at the Valley Inn motel early Wednesday, authorities said.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies from the City of Industry station responded at 2 a.m. to the 13000 block of Valley Boulevard and found one man with gunshot wounds, said Lt. Rick Rector.

The man, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital in stable condition, authorities said. Rector said he will be arrested after he is released from the hospital, noting that a second man has already been arrested in connection with the shooting.

Investigators say the latest shooting is not gang-related, but officials say at least some of the attacks in the last several days have been, according to Deputy Marvin Crowder, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department.

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Wednesday’s shooting appears unrelated to others in the area, Crowder said, but the increased gunfire has left the small community on edge.

On Monday afternoon, one man was killed after being shot in the torso in the 15400 block of Temple Avenue, sheriff’s officials said.

Less than 24 hours earlier, a man died after being shot at least once in the upper torso in a triple shooting in the 400 block of Tonopah Avenue. Two other men were injured in that shooting, one struck twice in the upper torso, and the other in the hand. Both were taken to a hospital. Deputies described the shooters as two men driving a silver or dark-colored SUV.

And on Friday night, 31-year-old David Peter Juarez died after being shot several times, including in the back. Deputies found Juarez on a sidewalk in the 100 block of North Winton Avenue, officials said. Another 22-year-old man was injured in the same attack.

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All three shootings happened within five miles of each other.

The city on Tuesday confirmed suspicions that gang activity may have something to do with the string of killings.

“Over the past week the city and the adjacent unincorporated county area of La Puente have experienced an increase in gang-related activities,” the city said in a statement. “The city, along with the Sheriff’s Department and surrounding law enforcement agencies have taken immediate steps to address the recent incidents.”

City officials said the annual Fortunato Jimenez Independence Day Celebration on Wednesday will continue as planned. The event is scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. A town hall is scheduled at 7 p.m. July 10 to discuss steps being taken to mitigate gang activity in the area.

Sheriff’s officials confirmed that the City of Industry station has increased patrols in the area.

The department’s gang investigations unit is working on some of the shootings, but Crowder was not certain which ones.

“We’re doing everything we can at this point,” Rector said.

alejandra.reyesvelarde@latimes.com

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Twitter: @r_valejandra


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