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Homicide Report: 12 killings last week in L.A. County, including two in Downey

November 12, 2010 |  8:30 am

Map shows clusters of homicides in L.A. Source: Homicide Report

Coroner's officials reported 12 killings in Los Angeles County between Nov. 1 and Sunday night, bringing the year-to-date total to 536, according to data collected for The Times' Homicide Report database.

By this time last year, 644 people had been killed in the county, with 762 killed in 2008 and 826 in 2007.

Two homicides took place in Downey, which had not experienced a killing since August.

Franco_family In the early morning of Nov. 3, officers were dispatched to a home in the 9300 block of Gainford Street after getting a report of a possible prowler and "shots heard," according to a Downey Police Department news release.

When authorities arrived, family members said two intruders were inside. Police entered the house and found Hermilio Franco, 53, dead inside his home. According to coroner's records, Franco had been shot in his left arm and torso.

A wounded man, believed to be a suspect, was also discovered in the house by police, who took him into custody. He was taken to a hospital in serious condition from a gunshot wound, according to authorities.

Lt. Phil Rego said investigators are not releasing the assailant's name because the investigation remains open. Authorities are searching for another man who witnesses said was wearing dark clothing and last seen fleeing the residence on foot.

Detectives are investigating the incident as a “home invasion” robbery that was interrupted by the resident.

Four days after Franco died, Blanca Celina Gonzalez Ceja, 35, was shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide.

Authorities responded to a call about a person possibly drunk or injured in a parking lot behind an El Pollo Loco about 11:45 p.m., a Los Angeles County coroner's spokesperson said.

When officers arrived, they discovered Ceja dead inside a red pickup truck. According to coroner's records, she had been shot in the neck. A man, later identified by the coroner's office as Daniel Dubon, 38, was found dead outside the truck with a handgun next to him. A coroner's official said he sustained a gunshot wound to the head, believed to be self-inflicted.

In addition to the Downey homicides, at least two people were killed last week in stabbings. 

Cameron Trute, 32, in Van Nuys, was stabbed three times in the right side of his neck on Nov. 5.

During the investigation, LAPD detectives learned that Trute was having a dispute with two possible gang members. At some point, his attackers, described as teens, took out an unknown sharp object, stabbed Trute repeatedly and then fled on foot, police said.

Two days after Trute was killed, Zachary Leon, 19, was stabbed to death in Sylmar.

LAPD patrol officers found Leon lying in the street suffering from several stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Later that day, police arrested Esteban Tabarez, 21, in connection with Leon's death.

Officials said Tabarez and Leon, who were acquaintances, got into an argument that ended with the stabbing.

Tabarez is currently being held in lieu of $1.02 million bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility  downtown. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 7 at the North Valley Superior 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

Photo: Distraught family members console each other after Hermilio Franco was killed during an apparent home invasion robbery in Downey. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times.

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

Click to visit The Times' interactive Homicide Report