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Arrest warrant issued for second suspect in killing of 4-month-old boy

October 20, 2009 |  2:03 pm

ME.Suspect  Authorities issued an arrest warrant today for a second suspect in the killing of a 4-month-old boy who was shot when gang members opened fire in Van Nuys on a group they believed were rivals from another gang, authorities said.

Ricardo Hernandez, 23, of Los Angeles, is believed to have fired the shots Sept. 27 that killed Andrew Garcia, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to Hernandez's arrest and prosecution. 

Prosecutors filed murder charges last week against Alfonzo Landa, 17, for his alleged role in the infant's death, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.  Landa, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, remained in jail in lieu of $9-million bail.

The family of the infant was on their way home from a friend's baptismal celebration. After the party, Andrew's parents, Marlene Ramirez, 18, and Frank Garcia, 21, agreed to drop off Anna Contreras, 28, a friend who lived nearby on Kittridge Street, before driving to their North Hollywood home, Robison said.

Frank Garcia got out of the car and was chatting with friends when a confrontation erupted.

The mother of one of the men talking with Frank Garcia said her son told her that the assailants demanded to know where they were from and when her son responded, "Barrio Van Nuys," the two men fired at them. The child was being bottle-fed in the car at the time.

Police said the suspects fired six rounds from a shotgun, striking Andrew in the head as well as striking Contreras, who suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Ricardo Hernandez. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

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