A senseless series of shootings in Pacoima have caused the deaths of three people, and police are still working to make any arrests.
The deadly spree began on July 26 at around 5:45 a.m., when Foothill Division patrol officers responded to a radio call of a shooting in the 12600 block of Pierce Street, at the corner of Glenoaks Boulevard.
Responding officers found two men suffering from gunshot wounds. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics were called to the scene and transported both victims to local hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.
They were later identified as Mario Muro, a 32-year-old resident of North Hollywood, and Spencer Herrera, a 29-year-old resident of Pacoima.
Last week, two more shootings shattered the summer nights of this area of the eastern San Fernando Valley.
On Aug. 4 at around 9 p.m., police officers responded to a shooting call at the corner of Terra Bella Street and Bromont Avenue. They found a 17-year-old male and an 18-year-old female with gunshot wounds.
Paramedics were called and pronounced the 17-year-old dead at the scene. The 18-year-old woman was taken to a local hospital. She was listed in stable condition.
According to a preliminary investigation an unknown suspect fired multiple times at the victims, then fled the scene.
Candles, balloons, flowers and some posters with photos and kind words now mark the place where this shooting took place.
A Month Shy Of Turning 18
The fatal shooting victim was identified as Adrian Hernandez, who would have turned 18 on Sept. 7.
Dulce Magadan, who knew the victim in high school, visited the scene along with a couple of Hernandez’ other friends.
She recalled that Hernandez attended Verdugo Hills High School and Cesar Chavez Learning Academies in San Fernando.
“He just got out of camp three days before. He was in ‘juve,’” Magadan said.
She noted that Hernandez was involved in gangs and had been in trouble before. He had been in juvenile detention until just prior to his killing.
“We were close in high school. He got along with everyone. But then we went separate ways,” she said.
Hernandez lived in Pacoima. Magadan said she didn’t know much about what he was doing recently.
“They took you from us too soon, you’ll forever be missed & your memories stay amongst those you shared smiles with,” reads a poster placed at the makeshift altar for Hernandez.
“R.I.P. Adrian gone but not forgotten,” reads another.
The Last Shooting
Two days later, on Aug. 6, a hail of bullets were shot against a man in his pickup truck on the 13100 block of Corcoran Street.
Police said they found one victim with an unknown number of gunshot wounds. He was transported in unknown condition to a local hospital. The rear window of the pickup truck showed several bullet cracks and the ground near the car was also littered with casings.
The man in this case apparently survived the shooting, but his condition is unknown.
Det. Michael Barretta, who oversees the homicide bureau of the LAPD Foothill Division, told the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol that “there’s no apparent connection” between all the shootings.
“Some of them do appear to be gang related,” Barretta said.
“These are all ongoing investigations at this point and we are looking for any witnesses that can help us in these investigations,” he continued.
None of the attackers in these cases have been identified so far and no arrests have been made.
Spike In Crime Stats
The recent deaths bring the number of homicides in the LAPD Foothill Division territory to nine this year, the same number as that of 2014.
Up until Aug. 1 this division had seen a 2.8 percent rise in crime. Captain Ernest Eskridge, Division commander, had hinted at this increase in the monthly newsletter put out by Foothill.
“Our crime has increased, and as of the week ending July 25, there have been 1,692 victims of crimes as compared to last year at this time with 1,599. Working together, we can bring our numbers down again for the rest of the year,” Eskridge wrote.
Two areas where Foothill Division officers have seen an increase this year were aggravated assaults. Up to Aug. 1, there had been 225 reported cases of aggravated assaults (assaults resulting in serious injury), compared with 204 the year before.
The Division has also noticed an increase in property crimes, including burglary and theft.