Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Homicide Report: 12 killings last week in L.A. County, at least five women

August 6, 2010 | 10:31 am
Map shows clusters of homicides in L.A. County this year. Click for additional details about the most recent cases reported by the coroner on The Times' interactive Homicide Report.
Coroner's officials reported 12 killings in Los Angeles County between July 26 and Sunday evening, bringing the year-to-date total to 385, according to data collected for The Times' Homicide Report database.

Over the same period last year, 15 people were killed, 20 fewer than in 2007.

Authorities have said at least five women were killed last week, including Shaquana Watson, 23, on July 27.

Watson was in a vehicle about 9 p.m. in South Park when another car pulled up and someone opened fire, said Ed Winter, spokesman for the coroner's office.

Authorities were called and Watson was taken to a hospital, where she died from gunshot wound complications, Winter said.

LAPD Newton Det. Kelle Baitx said it appeared Watson was not the intended target of the shooting. He said the shooter wanted to hit someone walking on the sidewalk near Watson's car.

It's believed the incident was a gang-on-gang shooting, and Watson was "in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said.

No one else was hit by gunfire.

Witnesses described the shooter as a Latino driving a white Ford Econoline van that had no windows.

The next day, Ladonna Kelly, 41, was shot and killed in Vermont Vista.

She was sitting in a vehicle about 11:30 p.m. when a person walked up and started shooting, Winter said.

Kelly sustained gunshot wounds to the upper chest and upper back, according to coroner's records.

She was taken to a hospital, where she died July 29 at 12:08 a.m.

The same day, Mary Sternal, 90, was found dead in her home in Marina del Rey.

Winter said a relative went to Sternal's home and found her shot.

Authorities were called and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Sternal had sustained a gunshot wound to the head, according to coroner's records.

It appeared the shooting was a murder-suicide, Winter said. He did not have any more information about the case.

In the evening, Cristina Williams, 27, was fatally shot in Leimert Park.

Citizens heard gunfire near 42nd Street and 4th Avenue about 10:45 p.m. and called police, said LAPD Det. Charles Geiger, who is handling the investigation.

When authorities arrived, they found Williams suffering from several gunshot wounds, according to coroner's records.

Williams was taken to California Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, Geiger said.

Investigators currently do not have information on the circumstances leading up to Williams’ death or a description of the suspected shooter.

On Aug, 1, Rosalind Olson, 61, was stabbed to death in Santa Monica.

Police received a call about 8 a.m. regarding trouble at the Manor, a home for mentally ill and developmentally disabled adults, according to the Santa Monica Police statement.

When authorities arrived at the scene, they found Olson with stab wounds to her chest. The knife was still in her body, according to coroner's records.

Investigators arrested Rigoberto Ruiz, a 55-year-old Latino and resident of the Manor, in connection with her death.

Ruiz was being held at the Twin Towers jail downtown. His next court appearance is Aug. 10 at the LAX Los Angeles Municipal Court.

The Times' Homicide Report provides an interactive map and database of all homicides in Los Angeles County reported by the coroner since Jan. 1, 2007.

-- Sarah Ardalani


Map shows clusters of homicides in L.A. County this year. Click for additional details about the most recent homicides reported by the coroner. Source: Homicide Report