(Feb. 8, 2004, updated from Feb. 7 post) -- As night fell on Saturday Feb. 7, two killings took place within about half an hour of each other. They were unrelated crimes and neither appears to be a random act.
LBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Paul LeBaron says that at about 5:45 p.m. in the area of Broadway and Pacific Ave., two homeless individuals were arguing and one allegedly used a knife on the other. The victim was taken to a local hospital ...and expired.
[update] At 6:15 p.m. in the area of 10th and Walnut Ave., a man was fatally shot in what police say was a gang related argument outside a convenience store.
Within three hours of the shooting, LBPD detectives arrested two suspects in connection with the killing.
In a written release, LBPD says patrol officers observed a vehicle driving erratically and followed it to St. Mary Medical Center. When the vehicle arrived at the hospital, officers learned that one of the vehicle's occupants had been shot multiple times. The victim, 22 year old Jose Mejia of LB, was treated at the hospital but later died.
LBPD South Division patrol officers, Gang Detectives, and Homicide Detectives immediately began investigating the shooting. They determined that the victim was coming out of a convenience store at 10th St./Walnut Ave. with some friends; the victim began arguing with two males in front of the store...and one of the suspects pulled out a gun and shot the victim multiple times.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. two suspects were located, arrested...and booked for murder. One was identified as a 14 year old male juvenile; the other is 18 year old Jimmy Hagens of Long Beach.
LBPD asks anyone with information about this crime to call LBPD Homicide Detectives Richard Birdsall or Chris Cardoza at (562) 570-7244.