Just before 4 p.m. on February 23, student Law Thien Huynh stormed out of a training class for potential security guards after an argument with his teacher, said witnesses. He returned moments later, pointing a pistol at the teacher, 43-year-old Latino man Roberto Herrera.
He shot Herrera multiple times, including a shot to the head, according to the LAPD. Huynh then dropped the gun in the classroom, walked outside and smoked a cigarette in the 1300 block of South Hill Street.
When officers arrived at the scene, they pronounced Herrera dead.
According to the Weekly's Simone Wilson and Denise Romero, officials spotted the alleged shooter outside near 14th Place, where they asked him to hit the pavement, but he resisted. He surrendered after finishing his smoke and was arrested. Huyhn was charged with murder two days after the incident.
Herrera worked as a security guard and taught the class at Coast Career Institute as a side job for three years. He was engaged to be married at the time of his death.
Authorities believed that the teacher was the sole target of the shooting. Witnesses said that Huyhn only aimed the gun at Herrera and none of the other 12 students in the classroom were targeted.
The shooter could face a sentence of up to 50 years in prison if convicted, said the District Attorney's office.
Note: Due to technical difficulties, the LA Weekly's archive of all homicides within Los Angeles city limits was discontinued near the end of last year. We will be rolling out the 2011 homicides, one by one, until our “Murder was the Case” archive is up to date. Thanks for your patience.