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Port Area Shooting Spree Ends With 2 Dead, 3 Hurt

April 02, 1985|GEORGE RAMOS | Times Staff Writer

Apparently upset over the loss of his job, a Long Beach man allegedly went on a shooting spree near Los Angeles Harbor on Sunday night, killing two men and wounding two others before he was arrested, police said Monday.

Arthur Halvorson, 43, of Long Beach was booked on suspicion of murder and attempted murder in the jail ward at County-USC Medical Center, where he was reported in serious condition late Monday.

Investigators were trying to piece together the sequence of events that stretched from Long Beach into neighboring Wilmington and then back into Long Beach over an hour's time.

The first shooting took place shortly after 6 p.m. near Santa Fe Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach, when a man driving a yellow pickup truck began arguing with Ben Alcala, 22, Long Beach Police Lt. Norman Benson said.

During the argument, the man in the truck fired a shot at Alcala, wounding him in the upper chest.

About 15 minutes later, Los Angeles Police Lt. Mike Markulis said, the gunman appeared in the 900 block of North McDonough Street in Wilmington, near Hammett Vacuum, a crude oil transportation company where Halvorson had worked.

The driver of the pickup called to Calvin Ferguson, 44, of Norwalk, who walked over to the truck, Markulis said. Ferguson was shot in the head without warning and died, Markulis said.

The gunman then drove the pickup a short distance and pulled next to a car driven by Vicente Perez, 46, of Long Beach.

The gunman fired a single shot into Perez's car--equipped with a two-way radio used in a Neighborhood Watch program--fatally wounding Perez, Markulis said. It was not immediately clear if Perez was on patrol when he was shot, the lieutenant added.

At about 7 p.m., the driver of the same pickup got into a struggle with Eugene Layton, 38, in front of a home in the 3000 block of Vista Street in Long Beach, Benson said.

Layton, a burly man who once played college football, was shot twice in the upper chest during the fight but was able to slash the gunman's throat with a broken beer bottle, Benson said.

Long Beach police responded to the altercation and arrested Halvorson.

Alcala and Layton were both in guarded condition at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach.

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