The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered $10,000 rewards Wednesday in the unrelated fatal shootings of an 8-year-old boy in Pomona and the father of a young son in Westmont, and renewed a third reward in hopes of identifying a hit-and-run driver who ran down and killed a 16-year-old girl in Santa Ana last summer.
Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended the reward in the Feb. 20 fatal shooting of 8-year-old Jonah Hwang, who was killed by a gunman firing from the street at a home in the 1100 block of West 11th Street in Pomona. There is another $20,000 on offer from the Pomona Police Department and the city of Pomona, bringing the total to $30,000.
Jonah was inside the home with his family, visiting friends for dinner, when he was struck by a bullet. The youngster, whose family brought him home from a Taiwanese orphanage fewer than three years ago, died at a hospital.
The residents hosting the dinner are married school teachers with two children of their own, according to neighbors.
A police officer said a gunshot had been fired at the residence in January when no one was home. It was unclear if that incident was related to the fatal shooting or if it was a case of mistaken identity.
Police said the family had no gang ties.
Solis urged anyone with more information to call the Pomona Police Homicide Bureau at (909) 620-2095.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended the reward for information leading to whoever fatally shot 45-year-old Lester Scott Virgil while he was watching his son play basketball early on the evening of Aug. 5.
Virgil and another father were sitting on the front porch of a home in the 1600 block of West 110th Street watching the 12-year-old and his teammates practice for a tournament the next day when a white Audi stopped out front.
A man got out of the passenger side, walked up to Virgil and shot him several times, according to a sheriff’s deputy.
Virgil died on the front porch in view of his son. No one else was injured.
“Mr. Virgil was a supervisor at Los Angeles International Airport, a dedicated father, and a loving husband,” Ridley-Thomas said in a statement. “His family is devastated by this senseless killing.”
Ridley-Thomas encouraged anyone with information to call sheriff’s homicide Detectives Dean Camarillo or Sergeant Timothy Cain at (323) 890-5500.
Supervisor Janice Hahn recommended extending the reward in the Orange County hit-and-run, which was set to expire April 4.
Victim Lameia Harris was a ward of Los Angeles County who had been placed in a group home from which she had gone missing, according to Santa Ana police.
On July 10, Harris and two other women were standing in a center median on Hazard Avenue just west of Harbor Boulevard as motorists slowed and stopped to talk to them prior to the hit-and-run. Investigators noted the area was a hotbed of prostitution.
The motorist who hit them was driving a dark gray Nissan Armada. Surveillance video showed the SUV’s left front headlight dangling following the crash. The two other women with Harris were injured.
Hahn asked anyone with more information to call Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna at (714) 709-2043.
— City News Service
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