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Man still being detained in Downey shooting rampage

A man being questioned in the Downey shooting of five people--three fatally--has not been officially arrested yet, police officials said Friday morning.

They did say the man matched the description of the gunman, who shot the victims Wednesday at two locations in Downey. He was taken into custody Thursday night.

Three others who had been detained and questioned by police earlier Thursday were released, Lt. Dean Milligan said at a news conference. Police recovered a vehicle stolen from one of the victims by the gunman.

The three people killed were identified as Josimar Rojas, 26, of Downey; Irene Cardenas, 35, of Cudahy; and Susana Perez-Ruelas, 34, of Downey, police said.

"Earlier today Downey Police personnel developed information that led to the detention of an adult subject matching the description of the suspect involved in the fatal shooting," the Downey Police Department said in a statement. "The adult male subject is currently in the process of being questioned."

The shooting rampage shocked residents in the southeast Los Angeles County town. Police initially said that they did not know the motive for the attack, but that it was "targeted" and "not a random act of violence."

One Downey city councilman told The Times that it was a drug-related hit, but family members of some of the victims insist that the shooting was the result of an attempted robbery of a car advertised on Craigslist.

The violence unfolded Wednesday after 11 a.m. when a man entered United States Fire Protection Services on Cleta Street, police said. The attacker killed Rojas and Cardenas and wounded another woman who remains in stable condition.

The gunman then went to the home of the business owner, also on Cleta Street. He killed Perez-Ruelas there and wounded her 13-year-old son, police said. The suspect then fled in the stolen Camaro.

ALSO:

Convent worker stole from nuns, went on shopping spree

L.A. councilman passes DUI test after minor traffic accident

Suspect in Sacramento County triple slaying had violent past

-- Wesley Lowery and Richard Winton

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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