Pot Shop Gang Killing: One Man Arrested, One Man at Large
The Los Angeles Police Department have made an arrest in a fatal shooting outside a Panorama City marijuana dispensary, however one suspect remains at large.The killing took place on March 17, and marked the second homicide of 2013 in Panorama City—and it happened to take place the same day as the neighborhood's first homicide of the year.
A man sitting in his red Lexus became involved in a spat while on Roscoe Boulevard, and an unknown suspect opened fire, shooting several times through the driver's side window. The victim, a man later identified as 25-year-old Alex Moran, died at the hospital.
Now the LAPD say they have arrested 22-year-old Raul Benitez for the shooting. Detectives received a tip regarding Benitez' whereabouts, and ultimately tracked him down in Burbank, where they took him into custody.
Still at large, however, is 23-year-old Santiago Gutierrez, a known gang member who goes by the nickname Ya Ya. He is thought to be a co-principle in the shooting.
Gutierrez and Benitez are thought to have confronted a rival gang member who was a passenger in Moran's vehicle. The accused men apparently exited the marijuana clinic, then opened fire, striking and killing Moran.
Lt. Paul Vernon of the LAPD call the killing a "cold-blooded gang shooting."
After Benitez' arrest, searches of several homes did not turn up a murder weapon, however an Arleta residence was found to have dozens of fighting roosters, which officers turned over to Animal Services.
The LAPD are asking if anyone has information about Gutierrez to contact them immediately.