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Suspect in Downey shooting rampage due in court Monday

October 29, 2012 |  7:36 am

A man arrested on suspicion of murder in a Downey shooting rampage that left three people dead and two injured was scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.

Online jail records indicate Jade Douglas Harris, 30, was expected to be arraigned in Downey Municipal Court. He faces charges of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, according to the Downey police blotter, and was being held at Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.

Harris was formally booked Friday morning after being taken into custody and questioned the day before, authorities said. Police had previously said he matched the description of the gunman.

Police are still trying to determine a motive for the shootings. A spokeswoman for the targeted family, Martha Zerehi, described the incident as a violent car robbery that began when the gunman responded to a Craigslist ad for a Chevrolet Camaro.

He arrived at the family's business, United States Fire Protection Services, on Cleta Street in Downey about 11 a.m. Wednesday. He was allowed to enter through the front door, which is usually kept locked, relatives said.

The man drew a handgun and demanded the car, Zerehi said. He forced a male worker to tie up the two women, one of whom was the mother of the firm's owners, Robert and Antonio Salinas. The gunman was told that the car was not at the business but down the street at the family home.

At some point, Susana Perez, another family member, walked in with her 13-year-old son, whom she had picked up early from school for a dental appointment.

The suspect shot and killed two employees, Josimar Rojas, 26, of Downey, and Irene Cardenas, 35, of Cudahy.

Maria Fuentes, 52, a member of the Salinas family, was shot in the face and hand and was hospitalized in serious condition, a family attorney said.

Perez and her son then were ordered to drive the gunman to the home. Once there, Zerehi said, the suspect held a gun to the boy's head and threatened to kill him.

"Do you know how easy it is to kill you right now?" the gunman asked, according to Zerehi. Perez tried to push the gun away to save her son but was shot and killed, she said.

Before fleeing in the Camaro, the suspect turned and shot the boy, who pretended he was dead, Zerehi said.
— Kate Mather, Richard Winton and Wesley Lowery