UPDATED: One Dead In Canyon Country Shooting, All Three Suspects In Custody
Photos by Mark Archuleta, KHTS AM1220
UPDATED 1:06 p.m. Wednesday
Detectives arrested the third suspect in the shooting of a Good Samaritan who was trying to stop a robbery Monday afternoon in a Canyon Country shopping center.
Homicide detectives believe that this suspect, a 17-year old black male, is the one who pulled the trigger and shot the Good Samaritan in the chest and the intended robbery victim in the leg.
Homicide Lt. Eddie Hernandez also said that they will ask the District Attorney to file murder charges on all three 17-year olds in custody.
"There is a law in California that says when you participate in a dangerous felony - and robbery is considered one of thes - and a death results, you area as culpable as if you had been the shooter," he said.
Hernandez also said that there was no evidence that the shooting was gang-related and despite the suspects wearing clothing that might be considered gang attire, "we have no evidence that there is any gang affiliation." He said that the incident was most likely a robbery gone bad.
On Tuesday, homicide investigators arrested two male black juveniles (both age 17) and one adult, but after interviewing the adult, it was determined that he was not involved in the case, according to Hernandez.
The injured man had arranged to meet the three suspects to sell a Nintendo DS Game System at the strip mall near the Canyon Country Post Office. The suspects attempted to rob the victim and a fight ensued in a field behind the center.
A 30-year old man stepped in to try and stop the robbery, approaching the suspects with a baseball bat. One suspect produced a handgun and shot the Good Samaritan in the chest. The other victim tried to run away and the same suspect shot him in the leg.
The victims, identified only as two Hispanic men, were both taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, where the Good Samaritan died. Coroner's officials are witholding the name of the victim until next of kin can be notified. His 6-year old son was in the car close to where the shooting took place. The robbery victim was treated at the hospital and has been released.
All three suspects fled eastbound through an alley and northbound on Soledad Canyon Road, where two of them were taken into custody by deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Station.
The shopping center around the Post Office was locked down for several hours while deputies conducted their investigation. The path taken by the suspects as they attempted their escape, as well as the American Beauty apartment complex, was combed extensively by detectives looking for evidence.
Air and canine units were also used to track down the suspects.
Mark Archuleta contributed to this report.