Relatives of a woman shot to death in 2018 by a man for whom she was acting as a caregiver filed court papers Wednesday against the owners and managers of the Westlake District apartment building where he lived, alleging they knew of the gunman’s violent history and failed to evict him.
Pedro Gonzalez Cruz, the husband of the late Orsy Elena Bojorquez Sandoval, and the couple’s son, Jonathan Enrique Hernandez Sandoval, name James Wood Properties LLC and Raymond Management Inc. in their court papers, as well as the estate of Jose Guillermo Sandoval, who they say killed himself after shooting his caretaker.
The victim and her killer were not related, according to the plaintiffs’ lawsuit submitted in Los Angeles Superior Court but not yet officially filed.
A representative for the defendants could not be immediately reached for comment on the suit, which alleges wrongful death and premises liability and seeks unspecified damages.
Orsy Sandoval became Jose Sandoval’s caretaker in mid-2018 and went to his apartment in the 1700 block of James M. Wood Boulevard twice weekly to help him with errands and to clean his residence, according to the complaint.
Orsy Sandoval’s family reported her missing to police after she did not come home on Aug. 9, 2018, the suit states. Her body and that of her killer were found in the apartment by police the next day, and authorities determined he had fatally shot her before shooting himself to death, according to the plaintiffs.
Jose Sandoval had lived in the building for 20 years and both the landlords and residents knew he was a violent man who harassed tenants with his guns, the suit alleges.
He once hit another tenant on the head with a gun, the suit states. A prostitute he brought into the building took one of his weapons and fired shots inside his apartment and later at police who arrived to investigate, according to the complaint, which also alleges he once walked down a hallway in the building with a gun while drunk and said he would shoot anyone who did not like him.
Other tenants had complained about him to the apartment manager and had signed a petition asking for his eviction, but nothing was done, according to the plaintiffs, who allege that the management also failed to obtain a court order asking that his guns be turned over to the police.
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