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4 MORE GANG KILLINGS ADD TO TENSIONS OF BLOODY JANUARY.



Byline: Jason Kandel Staff Writer

Gang tensions remained high in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley

Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills.
 in February with four more gang-related homicides occurring last month after one of the bloodiest Januarys ever, officials said Friday.

Only one nongang homicide occurred in the Valley in February, so the total of five was markedly less than the 15 recorded in January. At least six of the homicides in January were gang-related.

But Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  police in the Foothill Division said tensions between rival gangs in the Northeast Valley and North Hollywood that have been festering fes·ter  
v. fes·tered, fes·ter·ing, fes·ters

v.intr.
1. To generate pus; suppurate.

2. To form an ulcer.

3. To undergo decay; rot.

4.
a.
 for years erupted in violence.

``Everything here is gang-related,'' said Detective Frank Bishop, who leads Foothill Division's seven-member homicide squad. ``North Hollywood gangs are coming up here and shooting up the area. Our guys are going down there and shooting up their area.

``I'm surprised there aren't more deaths.''

In a continuing effort to find solutions to the gang problem, Deputy Chief Ronald Bergmann, the top cop in the Valley, met Thursday night with about 40 community members, school officials and clergy. The meeting was held to help form steering committees steer·ing committee
n.
A committee that sets agendas and schedules of business, as for a legislative body or other assemblage.


steering committee
Noun
 - one to hunt for available resources, the other to develop strategies.

``I have not seen passion quite as high as this,'' Bergmann said.

Police are searching for suspects in four of the five February cases, compounding their workload held over from a busy January in which seven of the 13 cases involving 15 deaths remain unsolved.

Police have a suspect in one case from Feb. 10 that left Macario Alcorn, 24, dead in the 11500 block of Fenton Avenue in Pacoima. Police arrested Lee Ezell, 23, of Van Nuys two days later.

Ezell has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge and is scheduled to appear in court on March 5.

In other February cases, Richard Freitas, 35, of Canoga Park, was killed Feb. 2 while riding his bicycle on Jordan Avenue and Wyandotte Street in Canoga Park in an apparent drive-by shooting drive-by shooting Public health A phenomenon in which one or more persons–commonly members of street gangs, open fire à la Al Capone from moving vehicles, often in retaliation for an alleged wrong-doing by a rival gang .

Andres Vargas, 28, of Pacoima, was slain Feb. 12 in the 14000 block of Paxton Street in Pacoima.

And Jesse Alvarado, 23, of Van Nuys, was found dead Feb. 25 from multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso torso /tor·so/ (tor´so) trunk (1).

tor·so
n. pl. tor·sos or tor·si
The human body excluding the head and limbs; trunk.
 in the 6200 block of Hazeltine in Van Nuys.

North Hollywood police are searching for suspects in the gang-related shooting death of Armando Juan Alanis, 27, of North Hollywood, killed Feb. 10 at Laurel Canyon Boulevard Laurel Canyon Boulevard is a major street in the city of Los Angeles, California. It starts off at Polk Street in Sylmar in the northern San Fernando Valley near the junction of the San Diego (Interstate 405) and the Golden State Freeways (Interstate 5).  and Saticoy Street.

Police say an unidentified man approached Alanis while he was talking on a pay phone, and he was shot and killed without provocation Conduct by which one induces another to do a particular deed; the act of inducing rage, anger, or resentment in another person that may cause that person to engage in an illegal act. .

February's homicide workload compounds January's record-breaking bloodshed blood·shed  
n.
The shedding of blood, especially the injury or killing of people.


bloodshed
Noun

slaughter; killing

Noun 1.
 - with police still trying to solve many of those cases.

North Hollywood Division is seeking a shooting suspect from a Jan. 16 gang-related shooting that left Miguel Palomera, 23, dead in the 8400 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Sun Valley.

``We're going to find the suspects that killed these two guys,'' said Detective Andres Alegria, of the North Hollywood Special Enforcement Unit.

Devonshire Division detectives are working to solve four homicides that occurred over a nine-day period in January in North Hills. Three of the slayings are believed to be gang-related.

``They're tough cases,'' said Detective Mike Oppelt, the Devonshire Division homicide coordinator. ``They're either gang- or narcotics- motivated. Witnesses are hard to find.''

CAPTION(S):

chart

FEBRUARY KILLINGS

Valley homicides dropped to average levels in February

SOURCE: LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department.
 
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Mar 2, 2002
Words:563
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