The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved or renewed rewards in hopes of tracking down the gunmen in a double homicide in Carson and an unrelated fatal shooting in Compton, as well as a hit-and-run driver who ran down a man in Lancaster.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever fatally shot a young woman and a 17-year-old girl in Carson about 8:50 p.m. on Dec. 15.
“Erin Lavender and Dalelaja Hearn’s families and friends are devastated to lose them so young,” Ridley-Thomas told City News Service. “We are calling on the community to help them get justice by coming forward with information that can help solve this tragic case.”
Lavender, 19, and Hearn were sitting in a parked car outside a home in the 20300 block of Alvo Avenue when someone opened fire on the vehicle. Hearn, a high school student from Carson, and Lavender, who was from Fresno and played on the softball team at Compton College, died at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
The two had just attended a memorial for a friend, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Ridley-Thomas also asked his colleagues to renew a $10,000 reward in the killing of 22-year-old Gerardo Macias last March. The reward, set to expire Jan. 10, will now be available for at least 90 days.
Ridley-Thomas said Macias was a dedicated family man who worked for an insurance company in Fullerton. Authorities said the victim had come to the aid of strangers in a car crash shortly before being shot in the head just before midnight March 16 in the parking lot of an abandoned strip mall at the intersection of Alondra Boulevard and White Avenue.
Sheriff’s investigators said Macias was at his Compton home when he heard the sound of a traffic collision and drove with family members to the scene to offer help. The family found two drivers trapped in the wreckage, and Gerardo Macias tended to the victims until paramedics arrived, according to the sheriff’s department.
Macias and his family members, including young children, left the location in their Chevrolet Tahoe and made a U-turn on Alondra Boulevard to get to a nearby gas station.
Macias’ brother, Miguel, then steered the SUV slowly through a strip mall parking lot, where three unfamiliar cars sped across the lot toward the SUV and then abruptly stopped as the occupants fired seven rounds into the Tahoe, according to the sheriff’s department.
Miguel Macias suffered a through-and-through gunshot wound to his left wrist and Gerardo Macias, who was in the front passenger seat, was struck in the head. The brothers’ 22-month-old niece sustained facial injuries from shattered glass and shrapnel.
Two of the suspect vehicles were described as dark-colored, four-door sedans and the third as a light-colored Mercedes-Benz with a sunroof. The Mercedes was driven by a female and one of the sedans by a male suspect.
“Detectives believe this murder was unprovoked and without cause,” according to a sheriff’s statement. “Gerardo was killed in the presence of close family members, some of whom were impressionable little children. The family lives with the horrible and unforgettable image of Gerardo being shot and killed only a few seats away.”
Ridley-Thomas urged anyone with information on either shooting to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended reinstating a $10,000 reward in the Aug. 4, 2018, hit-and-run death of 22-year-old Rodney Tyrone Richard. The reward expired Nov. 27 but will now be available for at least another 90 days.
Richard was crossing Lancaster Boulevard near Elm Avenue around 2 a.m. when a white truck hit him at 50 mph, despite the 15 mph posted speed, according to Barger’s motion. Surveillance video showed Richard putting his hands up as the truck slammed into him.
The driver of the full-size white truck with chrome side steps, possibly a 2500 or 3500 Chevrolet or GMC model, stopped before speeding away toward Sierra Highway, but witnesses were not able to see the license plate.
Barger urged anyone with additional information to call sheriff’s Detective Ryan Bodily, 661-940-3811. Tipsters with information on any of the crimes can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 (TIPS).
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