3 West L.A. Gangsters Arrested in Santa Monica Murder Case

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Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 6:01 PM
  • Suspects Christopher Chonan Osumi, Meliton Lorenzo Lopez and Noah Jason Farris, via the SMPD

Three men have been booked in connection with a fatal shooting in Santa Monica that appears to have involved a rivalry with a West L.A. gang.

The three were nabbed in the 1500 block of Armacost Avenue in West Los Angeles following the Tuesday morning attack in Santa Monica's Pico neighborhood:

One victim died at a hospital and the other was in critical condition following the shooting in an alley in the rear of 1759 15th St., police said.

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The deceased was ID'd by police today as Gil Verastegui, 29. Both victims were Santa Monica 13 gang members, a community leader told us.

Police say the suspects, Christopher Chonan Osumi, 19, Meliton Lorenzo Lopez, 23, and Noah Jason Farris, 32, are all gang members from West L.A., where the Sotel set has taken part in a bitter rivalry with Santa Monica 13 for decades.

Cops say one of the three walked up and opened fire before fleeing in a waiting vehicle. When police went to Sotel turf in West L.A. to look for suspects, two tried to flee before being caught and one was nabbed in a nearby apartment, according to a Santa Monica police statement.

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The attack was not related to an injury gang shooting Sunday, according to Santa Monica authorities. And while the community was stunned by last week's rampage at Santa Monica College, there was no relationship between the gang violence and that attack, which took five lives, cops said.

Osumi and Lopez were booked on suspicion of being gang members who committed murder and attempted murder, police said; Farris was booked on suspicion of being a gangster who was an accessory in a felony crime.

The latter was being held without bail because he was on "postrelease community supervision" at the time of the attack; bail for the others was set at more than $1 million, police said.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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