The Los Angeles Police Department has arrested a third suspect in the shooting death of an L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy. A fourth man remains at large.
“We will bring all those responsible for the murders to justice,” said Police Chief William Bratton at a 1 p.m. press conference at Parker Center, which was attended by Robbery Homicide detectives, Sheriff Lee Baca and L.A. City Council members Ed Reyes and Eric Garcetti.
Fugitive Armando Albarran
The third suspect, Jose Renteria, 18, pleaded not guilty Monday to capital murder in the killing of Deputy Juan Escalante, who was shot from behind about five times in the head and upper body with a .40 caliber pistol. He was gunned down outside his boyhood home in Cypress Park in the early morning hours of August 2, 2008. Escalante, 27, was leaving for work at the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.
Renteria, an alleged member of the Drew Street Clique of the Avenues gang,
was arrested April 16 at the Eastlake Juvenile Detention Center, where
he was being held on a parole violation for a previous drug offense.
Councilman Reyes, who stood near a photo of 26-year-old fugitive Armando “Chivo” Albarran, told the alleged gangster to turn himself in.
“We don't want our children being shot and our parents living in fear,”
he said. “Chivo turn yourself in. We will come after you.”
Albarran was charged Tuesday with Escalante's murder.
Renteria's cousin, 24-year-old Carlos “Stoney” Velasquez, and Guillermo “Pee Wee” Hernandez, 20, were arrested
for the deputy's killing last December 12. They were subsequently charged
with one count each of murder with the special circumstance that the
killing was carried out to further the activities of a criminal gang.
Renteria's brother, Carlos, was indicted by federal authorities last
June, along with 70 members of the Avenues gang who live on Drew Street
in Northeast Los Angeles. Renteria's cousin, Danny Leon, died in a
February 2008 gun battle with LAPD gang officers.
At the time of Escalante's shooting, it was unclear
whether the deputy, a former U.S. Army reservist, was targeted because
of his work in a particularly dangerous jail unit – which put him in
contact with Avenues gangsters and Mexican Mafia members who rule the
streets of Cypress Park, Highland Park and Glassell Park from behind
bars – or if it was simply a case of mistaken gang identity.