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California

Third shooting death in four days prompts fear in La Puente community

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Investigators search the area where a man was shot to death Monday in La Puente.
(KTLA)

Fear has spread across the small city of La Puente after a third fatal shooting in just four days, and residents are worried there may be more deaths, authorities said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said deputies responded just before 3 p.m. Monday to the 15400 block of Temple Avenue and found a man with a gunshot wound to his torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff’s officials said they don’t have a description of any suspects in Monday’s attack, the third in recent days.

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. The man, who has not been identified, died at the scene.

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Two other men were injured in the 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.

On Friday night, 31-year-old David Peter Juarez, suffered multiple gunshot wounds, including to his back, in a sidewalk shooting in the 100 block of North Winton Avenue, authorities said. Juarez died at the scene.

A 22-year-old man was shot in the upper torso in the same incident and taken to a hospital, authorities said.

Sheriff’s officials do not have any information about a suspect in that shooting. All three attacks happened within five miles of one other.

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In the past several years, reports show La Puente has had only one or two homicides annually. According to data from the FBI, sheriff’s officials didn’t report any homicide investigations in La Puente in 2015 and 2017. Just one homicide was investigated in 2016. According to the L.A. Times Homicide Report, two homicides occurred in 2018.

Community members have expressed concern on Twitter that the shootings seem to be happening at all hours of the day, and some think they are the result of gang initiations. Sheriff’s officials said they don’t know whether the slayings are gang-related.

Residents also worry about the shootings in light of the city’s upcoming Fourth of July fireworks show.

Some have urged neighbors to skip the annual celebration, while others said they are considering moving out of La Puente altogether.

“Every year I go to La Puente firework show but with all the shooting happening, I’m about to stay … home,” one commenter said on social media.

All three homicides are under investigation. Anyone with information can call the Sheriff’s Department at (323) 890-5500.

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alejandra.reyesvelarde@latimes.com

Twitter: @r_valejandra


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