(May 31, 2002) -- In a revelation reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, LBPD announced it has discovered two badly decomposed bodies in the bedroom of the gunman who went on a shooting rampage at the "Top Valu" market at 5th St./Pacific Ave., killing an 8 year old girl and 38 year old store clerk and wounding four other people.
And police separately provided additional details -- simultaneously horrifying and heroic -- of what took place inside the neighborhood market in the 1st Council district, in the shadow of City Hall (note photo, above) and fashionable Pine Ave.
In cold but compelling police verbiage, LBPD stated in a written release:
"When officers arrived, they heard gunfire coming from within the store. They immediately entered the store, observed that the armed suspect had shot several victims, and took immediate action to stop him. Officers fearing for their safety, and the safety of employees and patrons, fired at the suspect striking him several times.
"The suspect and four gunshot victims were transported to local hospitals. Two additional victims, 8-year old Barbara Ibasco and 38-year old Marcella Perez, died at the scene as a result of injuries they sustained. The gunman, 48-year old Antonio Luis Pineiro, died at St. Mary Medical Center at approximately 10:00 p.m."
Police also revealed that among four gunshot victims (all released from local hospitals and reported in stable condition) were Conrado and Myrna Ibasco -- the parents of little 8-year old Barbara who met her death at the downtown LB neighborhood market. The other shooting victims were a 32-year old man and 50-year old woman.
LBPD units were pulled from neighborhoods across the city. LBReport.com observed units from LB's East and North divisions along with South division units.
Barely three hours after the downtown murders, another LB murder was taking place...this time in North Long Beach in the 6800 block of LB Blvd. LBReport.com separately reports that crime at NLB Murder, May 30.
LB's police level is effectively determined by the City Council when it budgets spending for police each year.
A proposed budget from the City Manager is reviewed at forwarded to the Council by the Mayor. Years of Mayor-forwarded, City Council approved budgets have left LB taxpayers with fewer than 2.0 officers per thousand residents. In contrast, Signal Hill budgets roughly 3.0 officers per thousand residents and L.A. budgets over 2.0.