The manhunt for a 26-year-old suspect in the killings of two people and wounding of two others in Aliso Viejo stretched into Ventura Friday, where Orange County sheriff’s officials and Ventura police descended on a neighborhood in response to a reported sighting of the man.
Luke William Ferguson is suspected of killing 51-year-old Lisa Cosenza, who was once the ad director of the Los Angeles Times’ local newspapers in Orange County, and her boyfriend, 59-year-old Doug Ferguson, the suspect’s father, according to sheriff’s officials and two friends of Cosenza’s.
The shooter also wounded a 23-year-old man and a 48-year-old man, whose names were not released, according to sheriff’s deputies. They were in serious condition at area hospitals.
The shooting was reported at 2:48 p.m. Thursday at 6 Ashbury Court.
Shortly after noon Friday, Ventura police, aided by Orange County sheriff’s investigators, swarmed into a Ventura neighborhood near Dunning Street and Telegraph Road after fielding reports of a “suspect wanted in a shooting and double homicide out of Orange County that occurred yesterday” being seen in a residence.
Investigators suspect it is Ferguson, Orange County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jaimee Blashaw said.
Ferguson is white, 6 feet 1, 200 pounds and has a tattoo of 90291 — the ZIP code for Venice — on his right shin, authorities said.
Cosenza was remembered as an outgoing, friendly and hard-working colleague by two former co-workers.
“We worked really well together at the Daily Pilot,” said Lana Johnson, who was the promotions director at the group of local newspapers while Cosenza was ad director.
“We collaborated on special sections,” Johnson recalled. “We had a great working relationship… Her employees valued her expertise and she was very professional.”
Johnson said she was “horrified and shocked” by the news.
Tom Johnson, publisher of Stu News, hired Cosenza for the real estate section and encouraged her to apply for the ad director job when he was publisher of the Times Community News papers.
“I hired her at the Pilot in the early `90s in (the) real estate department and she was very good,” Tom Johnson said. “She came from a real estate family and over time I really enjoyed working with her and she worked her way up the ladder. In the early 2000s, I had an opening for ad director at the Pilot and I went to Lisa and told her she should apply for the job.”
Tom Johnson added, “She was just a good, strong person to work with.”
He was also saddened by the news of her killing.
“When you hear news like this, especially after everything going on it brings it so close to home. It’s so awful,” he said.
Cosenza was “loud,” Tom Johnson said, recalling her outgoing personality.
“We worked hard and had fun doing it. It was like family,” Tom Johnson said.
Another former co-worker, Vilma Hidalgo-Cruz, said Cosenza, an avid Cincinnati Bengals fan, loved working at the Pilot.
She also had a “passion for life and her work,” Hildalgo-Cruz said.
—City News Service