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Santa Monica slaying suspects with alleged gang ties due in court

June 13, 2013|By Joseph Serna and Robert J. Lopez
  • Suspects held in Santa Monica shooting, left to right: Christopher Chonan Osumi, Meliton Lorenzo Lopez and Noah Jason Farris.
Suspects held in Santa Monica shooting, left to right: Christopher Chonan… (Santa Monica Police Department )

Three men linked to a shooting near Santa Monica College that left one man dead and another victim critically wounded are due in court Thursday.

Christopher Chonan Osumi, 19 and Meliton Lorenzo Lopez, 23, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder and were being held in lieu of $1-million bail.

Noah Jason Farris, 32, was arrested for allegedly being an accessory to a felony. Farris served time in state prison and was under the supervision of county probation authorities, police said in a statement.

He was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department website.

All three men are from Los Angeles and have suspected gang ties, police said.

Police identified the slain man as Gil Verastegui, 29, who lived in Santa Monica. The second victim was in critical condition at a hospital.

Police say Osumi and Lopez walked up to Verastegui in the 1500 block of Michigan Avenue on Tuesday and opened fire.

The attack was city's third shooting incident in five days, including a rampage Friday in which a gunman killed five people before he was slain by officers. Police said the incidents were not related.

Photos: Santa Monica shootings

The city is reeling from Friday's bloody rampage. Police say 23-year-old John Zawahri killed his father and brother in their Yorkshire Avenue home then left a trail of violence that ended at Santa Monica College.

Zawahri killed two other people and fatally wounded another before he was shot dead in the school library.

On Sunday afternoon, a cyclist was shot and wounded on Yorkshire Boulevard, not far from the Zawahri residence, police said. That man was in stable condition.

Anyone with information in Tuesday's killing is asked to call Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959 or the Police Department at (310) 458-8495.


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