Man Charged in Fatal Shooting of El Monte Jack in the Box Employee During Attempted Robbery

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A man has been charged with capital murder in last year’s shooting death of a 25-year-old Jack in the Box employee during an attempted robbery in El Monte, officials announced.

Louie Herrera is seen in a booking photo shown at a sheriff’s news conference on Jan. 26, 2017.

Louie Francisco Herrera, 20, of San Gabriel, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to one count of capital murder in the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Juan Vidal, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a released statement. Vidal was shot by a masked gunman on Oct. 21, 2016 while working at the Jack in the Box located in the 9200 block of Flair Drive, authorities said at the time.

Vidal was shot in the chest and died soon after, prosecutors said.

Following the deadly shooting the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department released surveillance video showing the gunman, wearing a baseball cap and Halloween mask, jumping over the front counter near a cash register and brandishing a weapon.

Authorities said although he demanded money, Herrera fled the Jack in the Box without taking any cash.

Herrera was arrested on Jan. 9 in connection with Vidal’s death after a member of the public saw the surveillance video, recognized him and alerted police.

Juan Vidal is seen in a family photograph.

If convicted as charged, Herrera faces the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

He is being held without bail at the L.A. County jail and is scheduled to return to court on April 17.

Sheriff’s officials said Vidal was engaged to be married, had recently graduated as a pharmacy technician, and had picked up shifts at the fast food restaurant in order to make extra money.