A North Hollywood man suspected of fatally shooting two men in a West Hills park was in custody Saturday morning.
The Los Angeles Police Department identified the suspect as Ryan Vassallo Conrad, 31, and said an argument led to the deadly shooting at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday on a baseball field at Shadow Ranch Park in the 22600 block of Vanowen Street.
Conrad was taken into custody at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the 1400 block of Crenshaw Boulevard in Torrance, according to the LAPD.
“He’s had multiple jobs, in and out of jobs through his young life so far,” LAPD Detective Dave Peteque told reporters at a Friday afternoon news conference. “Nothing stable, no career, and right now we’re still building information on him.”
Peteque noted that Conrad has family in Southern California, which led investigators to believe he was still in the area.
The detective also said investigators are speaking to a fourth man who witnessed the shooting.
“This is not a gang-related shooting and this is not a random shooting,” Peteque said. “All four individuals — there is one witness that we’re speaking with — and all four are acquaintances.”
Police said an argument escalated into gunfire, although no details have been released about the nature of the dispute.
A 27-year-old man from the San Fernando Valley died at the scene of the shooting.
He was later identified as Daniel Mercado, according to the coroner’s office.
Cesar Ascencio, 42, also of the San Fernando Valley, underwent surgery at a hospital, where he died. Police said he was able to speak to detectives and identify the shooter.
Police released photos of Conrad in hopes of generating tips from the public, but details on how investigators tracked him down were not available.
Neighbors unnerved by the killings told reporters they have noticed gang and drug activity at the rear of the park, which is across from a private high school.
Anyone with information was asked to call police at 877-LAPD-247.
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