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Woman, Man Die in Lennox Gun Battle; 1 Man Hurt

Los Angeles

July 28, 2002|HECTOR BECERRA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A gun battle early Saturday in Lennox that began over a restraining order left a man and a woman dead and a third person wounded, authorities said.

Emma Gonzalez, 24, a high school clerk, was killed shortly after midnight after trying to serve a restraining order on a man who members of her family said had been stalking her, authorities said.

Fabian Acuna, 27, who lived two blocks from Gonzalez, argued with her in front of his home in the 10800 block of Mansel Avenue near Hawthorne Boulevard. Then Acuna pulled out a handgun, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Jauch.

"He shot [Gonzalez] once in the upper torso," Jauch said. Then Acuna opened fire on Gonzalez's boyfriend, who was sitting in a car in front of the house, he said.

Kenneth Tiegs, 32, was shot twice in the upper body, but was able to get his gun and return fire. Acuna was shot in the chest and later died at a hospital, authorities said. Gonzalez died at the scene.

Tiegs ran to Gonzalez's home, said the woman's sister. "He screamed, 'He shot her, he shot her!' " said Eliana Gonzalez, 15. "I was shocked. I cried for hours.... My parents aren't handling it too well."

Tiegs was hospitalized in stable condition.

Emma Gonzalez was a records clerk at Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, her sister said. She had graduated this year from Cal State Los Angeles and wanted to teach social science. "She was very outgoing. She made friends everywhere. And she was very hard-working," Eliana Gonzalez said.

Authorities identified Acuna as Gonzalez's ex-boyfriend. But family members said Acuna had been a friend of one of Gonzalez's older brothers and became obsessed with her.

"He started liking her in high school. Eventually it got to the point where he wouldn't leave her alone," the victim's sister said.

She said she didn't know why her sister tried to deliver the restraining order in person.

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