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Craigslist cellphone ad was used to lure father, son in slaying

October 21, 2013|By Joseph Serna and Ari Bloomekatz

Police searched Monday for two men who ambushed and fatally shot a father in front of his teenage son in South L.A. Father and son had been lured by a Craigslist ad for a cellphone.

Rene Balbuena, 41, and his 15-year-old son were in Gramercy Park near 92nd Street and Gramercy Place about 7:40 p.m. Saturday when police say two men walked up to their vehicle from behind and demanded Balbuena’s money.

Balbuena got out of the car and one of the men opened fire, police said.

HOMICIDE REPORT: Track killings in L.A. County

The ad appeared to be a setup for a robbery, said Los Angeles Police Officer Drake Madison.

Balbuena was shot three times in the chest, and his son was grazed by a bullet, NBC4 reported. Balbuena was pronounced dead at a hospital, and his son was treated and released.

Police said the two shooters wore dark clothes and were thought to be in their 20s. There have been no arrests and no gun has been recovered.

The homicide was the first in Los Angeles in 10 days. The last time the city went 10 days without a homicide was in 2010.


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