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Gang Suspect in Slaying Killed by Police

February 14, 1988|JAMES RAINEY | Times Staff Writer

An 18-year-old gang member, suspected of fatally shooting a man on New Year's Day, was himself shot and killed in Baldwin Park by police after allegedly committing a similar attack a few weeks later, Los Angeles police announced last week.

Timothy Pierson was shot three times by Los Angeles police and killed Jan. 26 after he allegedly shot Edgard Sanchez of Alhambra.

Police said Sanchez, who recovered, was one of several victims of Pierson and a group of Carson street hoodlums who stole cars at gunpoint and used the vehicles to commit robberies and other crimes.

Eugeniusz Koss of San Pedro died in such an attack as he sat in his car listening to classical music on New Year's Day, police said. The 49-year-old Polish immigrant had parked his car in the lot facing Harbor Lake when he was approached by two young men. Police said Koss was shot once after being forced to lie on the ground. Witnesses reported that the youths ran off, leaving Koss to die in the parking lot.

Evidence immediately cast suspicion on Pierson and another reputed gang member, according to Harbor Division homicide Detective Larry Kallestad. Police secretly followed Pierson for about two weeks, but he stayed out of trouble until Jan. 26, Kallestad said.

On that day, Pierson drove to Baldwin Park. The teen-ager allegedly walked up to Sanchez, who was sitting in a parked car, and shot him twice. Police who had been watching the scene confronted Pierson and shot him three times, according to Kallestad.

Los Angeles police officials refused to provide further details, saying the Police Department's officer-involved shooting team is completing a standard investigation of the incident. But Kallestad said police could not have prevented the attack on Sanchez because Pierson pulled his gun without warning.

Pierson died soon afterward, but Sanchez recovered from the two gunshot wounds.

Detectives said witnesses and physical evidence were used to connect Pierson to the Koss murder. They refused to provide details.

Pierson was believed to be the trigger man in Koss' death, Kallestad said. Police are still seeking his alleged accomplice.

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