Homicide detectives say Newhall residents “very cooperative”

A Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy responds Apr. 4 to reports of gunman seen near Newhall apartment complex. Photo by Austin Dave.
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Homicide detectives probing last month’s deadly gang shooting say they are pleasantly surprised at how much cooperation they’re getting from the residents of Newhall as they carry out their investigation into the shooting death of Steven Ryan Valenzuela-Hughes.

“We’ve interviewed a lot of people, dozens of people,” Det. Q. Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau told The Signal Wednesday.

In his experience, he said, he’s encountered people in communities who may be reluctant to come forward with information.

“We get much more cooperation from the people in Newhall,” he said. “There is a lot more cooperation there than other communities.

“The problem is, we still don’t know who we’re looking for,” he said.

Valenzuela-Hughes, 27, was shot and killed Apr. 3 on Bottletree Lane near the intersection of Valle Del Oro and Dockweiler Drive.

“We believe it was a gang-related shooting,” Rodriguez told The Signal Wednesday.  “We do not have anybody identified as the shooter.

“But, we’re working diligently to identify any possible suspects or witnesses,” he said.

To that end, detectives continue to interview people who live in the area where the shooting occurred.

On Apr. 3, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to the 21300 block of Bottletree Lane shortly after 8 p.m. after a 911 call reporting gunfire in the area was received.

A day after the shooting, deputies with guns drawn surrounded an apartment complex after receiving reports of a 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 on Apr. 4.

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.

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