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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Ex-Con Held in Slaying of Worker

October 27, 1994

A Santa Paula man released from prison a month ago was arrested on suspicion of murdering a construction worker who was talking to the man's girlfriend, police said Wednesday.

Santa Paula Police Cmdr. Bob Gonzales said David C. Lopez, 39, is accused of firing four to six bullets from a small-caliber, semiautomatic handgun Tuesday night into a van parked outside the Mountain View Motel on East Harvard Boulevard.

Three construction workers who had traveled from Palmdale to work on a sewer project were shot. Pedro Severa, 28, was dead on arrival at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital. Raul Gaxiola, 38, was treated and released, and Miguel Gaxiola, 36, was in stable condition at the hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Lopez's girlfriend told police that Lopez was upset with the construction workers because they were talking to her, Gonzales said.

Darrell Shy of the state parole unit said Lopez had been released from the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco on Sept. 21.

He was imprisoned on drug charges and for receiving stolen property, Shy said.

Lopez was arrested at the Santa Paula Motel after fleeing on foot from the crime scene, police said.

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