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Slayings Preceded by Sex Assaults

Canoga Park: Man attacked two women in apartment before he shot and killed one of them and then himself, police say. Identities of the dead are revealed.

June 29, 2002|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A woman and a man who died in an apparent murder-suicide in a Canoga Park apartment were identified Friday, and police said the crime also involved sexual assaults on the woman and her adult sister.

Los Angeles Police Department detectives said Jesus Aguirre, 38, of Canoga Park, sexually attacked both women and then shot Susana Guadalupe Centeno, 27, in her apartment Thursday morning before turning the gun on himself.

Investigators said they have not determined what prompted the incident.

"We are still trying to figure out what happened and what the motive is," said Robbery Homicide Division Lt. Carlos Velez. "We still don't know why he would do this heinous thing."

According to detectives, Aguirre was at Centeno's apartment late Wednesday when neighbors reported hearing a loud argument at the home.

On Thursday, about 9:30 a.m., a maintenance worker at the complex knocked on the door of Centeno's ground-floor apartment and was told to enter.

As he opened the door, he heard a gunshot and saw a man exit the bedroom, enter the living room and shoot himself, according to Velez.

Aguirre was an acquaintance of Centeno's, but police said he was not the father of her two young children, who were in the apartment at the time of the incident. The children were taken into protective custody by the county Department of Children and Family Services. The woman's two older children, who were not at home at the time, are staying with relatives.

At the apartment complex, Centeno was remembered as a friendly woman who sold Avon products to neighbors. Aguirre was unemployed, police said.

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