Homicide detectives probe deadly gang shooting

Two Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies stand guard near the scene of a shooting in Newhall on Monday April 3, 2017. (Austin Dave/The Signal)

Homicide detectives have identified the victim of a shooting in Newhall Monday night as a Brown Familia gang member.

Det. Q. Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau told The Signal Tuesday that the fatal shooting Monday on Bottletree Lane near the intersection of Valle Del Oro and Dockweiler Drive, was gang-related.

“The victim is a documented member of Brown Familia,” he said, referring to the gang. “At this point, we’re not certain as to the identity of the gang suspected in the shooting.”

Rodriguez said detectives are following up on leads garnered in the case Tuesday.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to the 21300 block of Bottletree Lane shortly after 8 p.m. Monday after a 911 call reporting gunfire in the area was received.

At least one person was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire in Newhall Monday evening, according to sheriff’s officials.

Witnesses reported hearing several shots fired and a person down, said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

It was initially unclear when the victim was pronounced dead, but the investigation was handed over to the sheriff’s department Homicide Bureau shortly after 9:30 p.m.

The victim was confirmed to have died later in Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

Ed Winter, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department, said the victim’s identity is being withheld until his next of kin has been notified.

“He is a male Hispanic in his 20’s,” Winter said. “He was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound.”

Newhall residents already shaken by the shooting were rattled again Tuesday morning when deputies received reports that a gunman had been seen in the same area of Valle Del Oro.

For close to an hour, heavily-armed deputies were uncertain as to whether the reports of a gunman and Monday’s fatal shooting were related.

Sgt. Michael Konecny said of the gunman reports later: “It turns out it was nothing.”

Before that was established, however, there were some tense moments at an apartment complex on Valle Del Oro.

Deputies with guns drawn surrounded an apartment complex after receiving reports of at least one gunman in the same area as fatal shooting just 12 hours earlier.

They surrounded an apartment complex on Valle Del Oro near Costa Brava and Via Canon shortly after 9 a.m., a sergeant told The Signal Tuesday.

At least four deputies with guns drawn positioned themselves at four locations around one particular apartment building where the gunman was spotted, he said.

At least two other deputies armed with long-barrel firearms were seen also positioned around the complex.

Much of the police activity centered around a playground on Via Canon and pool near the complex.

When the first reports of a gunman were received shortly after 9 a.m., deputies interviewed the manager of the complex’s leasing office.

Then, they focused their attention on one particular apartment on the second floor of the complex.

About 9:15 a.m., a woman wearing a black top came to the balcony of the apartment and was told by deputies to come to the ground level.

She and three males, each responding to the demands of deputies congregated near the playground with hands in the air. The four were handcuffed and questioned but each of them released from handcuffs within five minutes, one witness to the detaining said.

No one was arrested in the incident.

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department were called to the scene at 9:16 a.m., Fire Department Inspector Joey Marron told The Signal.

“We were called for staging, and we arrived at the staging area at 9:25 a.m.,” he said, referring to a cautionary request made by deputies for paramedics to be present.

“We were cancelled at 9:45 a.m.,” Marron said.

Deputies who had responded to the reports of a gunman were then called in for a debriefing near the scene.

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