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Silver Lake Road Rage Suspect Ordered to Stand Trial, Witness Remembers Shooter Looking at Him

Sketch of suspect (LAPD)
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The 18-year-old alleged gang member accused of fatally shooting a 25-year-old pizza deliveryman in an August 2011 Silver Lake incident considered "road rage" has been ordered to stand trial for murder. Jose Beltran is "already behind bars on a weapons case," according to CNS. 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.

Beltran lived with his mother about a half-mile from the scene of the crime, which was in the 1400 block of Silver Lake Boulevard.

The suspect was connected to the road rage killing after he had been taken into custody in mid-August "on suspicion of driving with a loaded firearm after officers pulled him over for a traffic violation and found a weapon in the vehicle." He was charged with Vasquez Loma's murder later that month.

Passengers in Vasquez Loma's vehicle identified Beltran as the shooter in court during Monday's pre-trial hearing. One witness said of Beltran: "He looked at me and I won't ever forget that look." That same witness saw a gun in Beltran's hand when his vehicle pulled alongside theirs. "I leaned back. I heard a gunshot.''

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Beltran is scheduled to be arraigned January 24.