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2 Held in Slaying of Money Courier

Violence: U.S. customs agent identifies one of the robbery suspects at the Mexico border.

June 27, 2002|HECTOR BECERRA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two men trying to cross the U.S. border from Tijuana were arrested Wednesday in the shooting of an armored-truck guard the day before in north Long Beach, police said.

The guard, Victor Hurtado, 33, of Paramount, died Wednesday morning. He had been shot in the head at close range by a robber.

Jose Silva, 20, of Long Beach and Daniel Nieves, 22, of Los Angeles were arrested about 4 p.m. after a U.S. customs agent thought one of them resembled a photograph police had circulated, said Nancy Tabing, a spokeswoman for the Long Beach Police Department.

Police said they recovered money believed taken in the robbery at three homes in Long Beach, South Gate and Compton. They also found other undisclosed evidence, Tabing said.

Gunfire erupted about 11 a.m. Tuesday in the 2300 block of East 68th Street as Hurtado left the Jetro Cash and Carry store with a satchel containing an undisclosed amount of cash.

The driver of the armored vehicle tried to warn Hurtado that a gunman was approaching, but police said that the guard was fired upon. The driver was not injured, but Hurtado was hit. He died Wednesday at Lakewood Regional Medical Center.

Long Beach detectives had information from witnesses and evidence that suggested they look in San Diego for the killer, Tabing said. Police there came up with a photo of a possible suspect, she said.

The photo was placed at Customs Service booths along the border. Tabing said she didn't know whether it resembled Silva or Nieves, both of whom were booked on suspicion of murder.

Detectives were trying to determine which man is suspected of the shooting.

About an hour after the shooting, a red two-door Chevrolet Blazer was found burning about a mile from the Jetro store. Detectives are investigating whether the SUV belonged to the suspects, Tabing said.

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