Off-Duty Deputy Sheriff Slain In Wrigley Neighborhood Likely An Armed Robbery Victim, LBPD Indicates
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(March 30, 2006) -- At a late afternoon March 29 news conference, LBPD Chief Anthony Batts said robbery appears to be the motive in the murder of off-duty LA Sheriff's Deputy Maria Rosa.
Deputy Rosa was fatally shot as she was leaving for work at dawn March 28 from a friend's residence in the 2900 block of Eucalyptus Ave. (Wrigley district). She was dressed in civilian clothes at the time.
Chief Batts identified two possible suspects seen running from the scene:Suspect #1: Male Hispanic, late teens-early 20s, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt
Suspect #2: Male Hispanic, late teens-early 20s.
Chief Batts indicated both suspects were observed near the scene at the time the crime occurred, riding a bicycle...and an unidentified bicycle was found by police near scene.
LBPD said in a written release:
Homicide detectives are systematically investigating all possible leads and at this time robbery appears to be the motive. Preliminary investigation into the possibility that this may have been an accidental discharge of the victims duty weapon were ruled out after ballistic reports confirmed that her weapon had not been fired.
There's no evidence that anyone else was the intended target and ballistics reports show Deputy Rosa's duty weapon had NOT been fired [thus ruling out accidental weapon discharge], Chief Batts said. Deputy Rosa was hit twice with rounds from a 22 caliber weapon, Chief Batts said.
LBReport.com had the updated information and suspect descriptions posted on our front page (www.lbreport.com) as breaking news less than an hour after it was announced.
While indicating that robbery appeared to be the likely motive, Chief Batts added, "Right now we're not ruling out any motive." He added, "We will take this as if this was the loss of a family member out of our family. We will not stop until we follow-up on every lead that's possible," Chief Batts said.
LBPD asks anyone who may have witnessed this crime or has information regarding this incident to contact LBPD Homicide Detectives Bryan McMahon or Patrick ODowd at (562) 570-7244.
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