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Two Arrested In Slaying Of Father Responding To Craigslist Ad

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Two people have been arrested in connection with the slaying of a father who was responding to a Craigslist ad for a cell phone with his son earlier this month, Los Angeles police officials said.

The Los Angeles Police Department will hold a news conference Monday afternoon to provide more details about the events leading up to the shooting and identify the suspects: a 17-year-old teenager and an 18-year-old man, according to a news release from the department.

Rene Balbuena, 41, and his 15-year-old son drove to 92nd Street and South Gramercy Place in South Los Angeles about 7:40 p.m. Oct. 19 in response to a Craigslist post advertising a cell phone. They were then approached by two men believed to have made the online ad. The two suspects walked up to Balbuena's vehicle from behind and demanded his money, according to police. Balbuena got out of the car and a person began to shoot at him. After the shooting, the suspects ran from the scene, authorities said.

Balbuena was shot in the torso three times and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His son was treated for a graze wound and released.

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A neighbor rushed out after she heard the shots to tell the boy that she called 911, according to NBC4.

"He said, 'Please lady, tell me my daddy is going to be alright,'" she told NBC4.

The shooting ended the city's 10-day streak of being murder-free.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.:

Two gang members have been charged with murder and other counts in connection with the shooting death of Rene Balbuena, City News Service reports.

Ryan Roth, 17, and Markell Thomas, 18, were both charged with murder and attempted murder, along with two counts each of second-degree robbery, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Roth allegedly fired the shots, police and prosecutors said. Roth and Thomas are both expected to be arraigned in downtown this afternoon.