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Death in La Puente

March 29, 2008 | 12:10 pm

March 29, 1958


Two cars cruised La Puente on a Friday night. One car carried Fred Avila, 20, and three unidentified young women. The other carried four young men from La Puente: Manuel Garcia, 19; Refugio Luna Jr., 20; John Ramirez Jr., 19; and Robert Charles Perez, 19.

The two groups had crossed paths in La Puente's business district, The Times said, calling out insults to one another. Avila headed for the weekly dance at La Puente High School. The other car followed and pulled up next to Avila's auto outside the high school gym, where about 500 students were gathered.

One of Garcia's friends grabbed a .22-caliber rifle, got out of the car and pointed it into the window of Avila's vehicle. "Who's that guy?" he asked, presumably talking to one of the young women.

Avila got out and began grappling with the other young man over the rifle. Garcia and the other two friends joined the struggle and the rifle went off, hitting Garcia in the head. "You got me," he said, falling to the ground 10 feet from where he had scratched his nickname, "Quinky," in wet concrete three years earlier.

He was killed by his own rifle, The Times said.

Luna, Ramirez and Perez were arrested on charges of murder, but The Times never followed up on the case so we don't know what happened.

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