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Man Is Shot to Death in SUV

A onetime neighbor of L.A. City Council President Alex Padilla is killed by alleged gang members two blocks from home in Pacoima.

April 11, 2005|Miguel Bustillo | Times Staff Writer

A 30-year-old man who lived across the street from Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla was shot and killed two blocks from his home in Pacoima early Sunday morning, authorities said.

Alonso Morquecho was returning home with his wife, Karla, and two young children shortly before 3:30 a.m. when a dark-colored sport utility vehicle pulled beside their black SUV, Los Angeles Police Department officials said.

His wife told police that men inside the vehicle asked her husband, a construction worker, for a gang affiliation.

When Morquecho stated that he had no gang affiliation, she said the men shot him multiple times and sped away, according to police.

Morquecho died at the scene, the intersection of Filmore Street and Kewen Avenue.

No one else was wounded.

No weapon was found at the scene, and no suspects had been identified as of Sunday night.

Padilla said Sunday that the shooting had affected him personally.

"I grew up in this very neighborhood, a few blocks from where I am now, and he was my neighbor. So it's a very difficult thing to take, not just as a councilman, but as a person," Padilla said.

"They were coming from the baby sitter, after celebrating at a party for some friends that were going to be married soon," Padilla said. "That just compounds the tragedy."

Detectives at the LAPD's Foothill Division classified the shooting as gang-related.

Padilla, however, said he did not believe Morquecho was a gang member.

"He was not the kind of guy to be caught up in stuff like that," Padilla said. "When I would be going to the gym at 5 in the morning, I'd see him going to his construction job."

Padilla said his neighbor's death demonstrated to him that city crime-fighting measures had not yet made Pacoima safe.

Police asked anyone who might have witnessed the shooting to call (818) 834-3115 during the day or (818) 756-8861.

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