The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors renewed two rewards Tuesday in hopes of apprehending gunmen responsible for the unrelated deaths of a 53-year-old woman shot in the chest while sitting on her family’s front porch in Carson and a 23-year-old man slain while walking to meet his girlfriend in East Los Angeles.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended extending the county’s $10,000 reward for information on the gunman who killed Tauvaaga “Judy” Lauvai, who was visiting from Arizona to celebrate Father’s Day with her family when she was shot in mid-June. Set to expire Oct. 21, the money will now be on offer for at least another 90 days.
An additional $25,000 is being offered by the city of Carson, bringing the total reward to $35,000.
Lauvai was shot just before 9 p.m. on June 16, when a light-colored, four-door sedan stopped in front of her relatives’ home in the 22700 block of Island Avenue and someone inside the car opened fire. She died at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood. Another family member’s leg was grazed by a bullet.
Investigators have found no evidence that the family was specifically targeted and believe the shooting may have been a case of mistaken identity.
Lauvai worked at Arizona State University as an administrative assistant. The Carson High School graduate lived in the city for more than 50 years before moving out of state.
Lauvai, who was one of two women shot within a five-hour period in Carson that evening, is survived by her husband of 28 years and four grown children.
Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended extending a $20,000 reward in the May 17, 2014, shooting of Alex Gines, which was set to expire Oct. 26.
Gines was gunned down while walking in a residential area of East Los Angeles bordered by the Long Beach (710) and Santa Ana (5) freeways. He was on his way to meet his girlfriend around 1:30 a.m. when he was shot in the 900 block of South Kern Avenue.
Detectives assigned to the case have received no viable clues to date, according to Solis.
“The family of Alex Gines deserves closure. They deserve justice,” Solis said.
Anyone with information on either crime was urged to call investigators at the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers, (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
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