When authorities in Pasadena tried to stop an SUV on Christmas day — a fleeing vehicle that ultimately collided with a minivan, killing two family members — the suspicion was that it might have been connected to an earlier homicide in the area.
It was not.
So says the L.A. County District Attorney's office, which brought a separate case this week against the suspect shooter:
The D.A.'s office said it was 20-year-old Larry Darnell Bishop Jr. who pulled the trigger about 11 a.m. Christmas Day as he targeted another motorist in the 1900 block of Newport Ave.
Victor McClinton, a well-loved, 49-year-old civilian employee of the L.A. Sheriff's Department, who happened to be outside chatting with another youths-sports coach, was fatally hit instead.
There was a macabre sequence of events that day.
Police established a perimeter in the neighborhood well into the night and, about 8:15 p.m., a Pasadena cop riding in an unmarked car with an FBI agent came across a Dodge Durango leaving the area.
They initiated a traffic stop and a short chase ensued, but at Marengo Avenue and Maple Street the SUV struck a minivan, killing 26-year-old Tracey Ong Tan of Glendale and her reported cousin, 11-year-old Kendrick Ng of Daly City, California.
Driver and passenger, Darrell Lee Williams, 22, and Brittany Michellle Washington, 21, were charged with murder and accused of being gangsters. Cops even said they found a gun in the car.
But they didn't kill McClinton.
Late yesterday the D.A.'s office said:
There is no evidence at this time that McClinton's fatal shooting is related to a brief high-speed car chase that killed two people in the same area hours later. Police are still investigating both incidents.
A D.A.'s statement, meanwhile, says suspect Bishop faces …
… one count of murder with the special circumstances of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle and murder to further a criminal street gang. He's also charged with one count of attempted murder, two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, and possession of a firearm by a felon, charges that include personal discharge of a handgun.
Gary Aurthur Davis, 20, was also charged in the shooting case. The D.A.'s office says he is being prosecuted “as being an accessory after the fact.”
Bishop has a record as a burglar, the office says, and could possibly face the death penalty if convicted.