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Murder Charges Filed Against 18-Year-Old Alleged Gang Member in Road Rage Shooting Death of Silver Lake Restaurant Worker

Sketch of the suspect (LAPD)
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Charges were filed yesterday against an 18-year-old reputed gang member in the shooting death of Juan David Vasquez Loma, a 25-year-old restaurant worker gunned down behind the wheel in Silver Lake earlier this month. Jose Beltran was already in police custody on an unrelated weapons charge when the Los Angeles Police Department associated him with the Vasquez Loma shooting. Beltran, who lives at home with his mom about a half a mile from the crime scene, faces "one count each of murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle," details the Daily News.

The shooting was labeled a "road rage" episode from very early in the investigation. The shooter drove up alongside Vasquez Loma, who was driving co-workers home from one of his two area jobs he held in order to support his family in his native Mexico. Beltran allegedly fired at Vasquez Loma, striking him in the head. The victim was pronounced brain dead, then subsequently removed from life support, while hospitalized.

According to court documents filed in conjunction with the charges levied against Beltran, the shooting was part of gang activity.

The District Attorney's office may seek a doubling of bail, to $2 million, for Beltran.

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Beltran was arrested on August 19th during a traffic stop, at which time authorities learned he did not have a license, and he had a weapon in his vehicle.