The suspected triggerman in the drive-by shooting death of an 11-year-old Huntington Park girl was gunned down outside his home by a fellow gang member afraid of retribution over the child's death, police said Monday.
A veteran law enforcement official said Jose Munguia, 20, was killed because fellow gang members feared retribution for the death from the Mexican Mafia, a prison gang.
Mexican Mafia leaders in 1993 ordered gang members to end drive-by shootings and threatened to punish those who disobeyed.
"The word we're hearing is that [Munguia's death] was either ordered or implied by the mob," the official said, adding that Munguia's fellow gang members feared the prison gang would target them if they did not act.
Munguia was suspected of firing the shots that killed Erika Izquierdo on Oct. 27 as she lay in a hammock with her father, Huntington Park police said.
Detective Cosme Lozano said he had heard rumors about the Mexican Mafia's involvement but had no facts to support them.
"I believe anything's possible with a case of this nature," Lozano said.
Lozano confirmed, however, that Munguia and a juvenile arrested Sunday in his killing were members of the same gang.
Munguia was shot to death about 11:35 a.m. Saturday, the same day investigators arrested two other suspects, Ricardo Perez and Cesar Merino, both 21, as accomplices in Erika's slaying.
Two of her teen-age friends were wounded in the attack.
Erika's 15-year-old brother said he had thought the car that pulled up to his house the night of the killing was carrying people who wanted to attend a Halloween party in the back yard.
But the party had been canceled earlier that day.
Munguia opened fire from the car with an assault rifle, police said, hitting Erika in the head and wounding Luis Lopez, 15, and Adrian Garcia, 14.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to arrests in the killing. Huntington Park police put up $5,000.