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Boyle Heights man charged with murder in double slaying

November 8, 2012 | 12:53 pm

Approximate location of incident shown in black.

Prosecutors charged a Boyle Heights man Thursday with murder in the slayings of his brother and a family friend.

Israel Lopez, 29, faces two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances for multiple murder in the killings of his 25-year-old brother, Gustavo, and the friend identified by authorities as Rafael Aguilar-Rodriguez. Prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty.

Authorities say Lopez was engaged in an "ongoing dispute" with his brother. But the tension boiled over shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday when Los Angeles police said the defendant walked into his brother's bedroom and shot him multiple times.

Lopez then opened fire on Aguilar, who happened to be visiting the Lopez home in the 3300 block of Hunter Street, the LAPD said. 

Lopez's brother was pronounced dead at the scene with multiple gunshots wounds. Aguilar, who was shot once, was later pronounced dead at County USC-Medical Center. 

When LAPD officers arrived, they found Lopez inside the home along with the victims. He was immediately taken into custody without incident. Detectives said the weapon believed to be used in the killings was recovered at the residence.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

Map: Approximate location of incident shown in black. Credit: Los Angeles Times Mapping L.A.

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