Woman Convicted in Deadly Shooting Rampage That Spanned Nearly 4 Hours in Whittier Area
A 27-year-old woman was found guilty of killing one man and injuring two others in an unprovoked rampage that targeted several other innocent bystanders over the course of more than three hours in southeast Los Angeles County last year, prosecutors said in a news release.
Reyna Gomez and her partner, 22-year-old Alejandro Lazo, allegedly passed a single handgun between themselves, targeting victims at random in the violence that encompassed five shooting scenes and a carjacking across Whittier, Pico Rivera and La Mirada on a Saturday afternoon in April.
The incident began as the couple was driving a stolen Kia Rio in an unincorporated area near Whittier and opened fire on a pedestrian, wounding the man, according to sheriff’s investigators.
A little over an hour later, the two allegedly carjacked a green Nissan Pathfinder at gunpoint in Pico Rivera. The SUV was later found abandoned at a park in Whittier.
That incident was followed by additional shootings in Whittier, La Mirada and Pico Rivera.
A man was shot in the groin in an alley behind a strip mall in Whittier, then minutes later two motorists were shot at while waiting at a traffic light not far away. Those drivers were uninjured.
But next, after the couple drove to La Mirada, they allegedly shot a driver in the arm at another traffic light.
As deputies were responding to that shooting, 44-year-old Norwalk resident Jose Sahagun was shot and killed while driving with his wife and young sons, also in La Mirada.
People in other nearby cars were also shot at, officials said.
Sahagun was pronounced dead at the scene. Family members described him as a community activist dedicated to social work in Compton.
The nearly four-hour rampage was described by investigators as a “senseless act of violence.”
The pair was arrested later that night after being shot at a Budget Inn in Sante Fe Springs — though investigators were never able to ascertain by whom.
The couple, each with a gunshot wound in the torso, flagged down a bystander to call 911 after realizing the severity of their injuries, authorities said.
They were found along with the Kia Rio stolen out of Ventura County that had been used in the first shooting in unincorporated Whittier. A handgun that matched with ballistic evidence recovered from each crime scene was found inside the car, sheriff’s officials said.
Gomez had pleaded not guilty in the case, but on Thursday was convicted after jurors deliberated for more than a day, the L.A County District Attorney’s Office said.
She was found guilty of one count of murder, 14 counts of attempted murder and one count of carjacking. The jurors also found gun and gang allegations to be true, prosecutors said.
Gomez had also been charged with torture, but was not convicted on that count.
She is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 30, when she will face a maximum possible sentence of 280 years to life in state prison.
Lazo is still awaiting trial in the case, in which he is also accused of one count of murder, 14 counts of attempted murder and one count of carjacking.
He is expected to appear for a pretrial hearing on Oct. 19.