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2 arrested for Van Nuys 'accidental' shooting

April 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two men were arrested after a fatal shooting in a Van Nuys apartment. The men say the shooting was an accident, but police aren't buying their story.

The shooting happened around 8 p.m. Sunday in the 14600 block of Friar Street. Police say 43-year-old Tito Diaz and 25-year-old William Jimenez lived with the victim, identified as 25-year-old Saul Zacarias.

Diaz and Jimenez claim they were passing around a gun when two shots went off accidentally, killing Zacarias.

Investigators say Diaz and Jimenez carried his body down the stairs and into the parking garage below, where they were trying to dispose of the body in a Dumpster - just in time for trash day Monday.

"The call came out initially as a 'shots fired' call inside the location. When police responded here, they did an investigation through the apartment building and they found the victim down in the parking garage underneath the apartment building," said LAPD Det. Rob Bub.

When police arrived on scene, Diaz and Jimenez were reportedly found hiding under a car in the parking garage.

Neighbor Richard Suggs said he heard a loud noise came from the unit next door. Moments later, Suggs said he heard people going down the stairs, banging into the walls. When police arrived, he looked out the peephole in his door and into his neighbors' apartment.

"There was red stuff all over the walls and coming out the door," he said.

Diaz was arrested for murder and is being held on $1 million bail. Jimenez was booked as an accessory to the crime for allegedly trying to help dispose of the body. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

The victim is originally from Guatemala. His only relative in Southern California is his uncle, Nery Zacarias, who says family members back home are devastated.


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