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Pomona shootings: At least 3 separate killings, gunmen at large

August 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A search is underway for multiple gunmen after a wave of deadly shootings in Pomona over the weekend. The shootings happened hours after a peace rally in the city.

According to coroner's records, there were at least three people killed between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

There were four crime scenes across Pomona during that time frame. Sources tell Eyewitness News that these shootings are not connected.

The most recent incident occurred at about 3 a.m. Sunday at San Bernardino Avenue and Benedict Way. Police say Pomona resident Angel Bravo, 29, left his home to head to the store and was standing by his car, which was parked on the street, when another vehicle drove up next to him. Someone in the suspect car opened fire, killing Bravo. That car was described as a white compact vehicle.

Bravo's mother, Sandra Skinner, described her son as a hard-working father of four.

"My son was a person who would extend himself to anyone. He would help anyone," said Skinner. "You can't judge a book by its cover. He was working hard to improve his life and to make a change and to better himself."

Less than an hour before Bravo was shot and killed, Pomona police say another man was shot in the leg in the area of Canterbury Avenue and Oxford Place. There were numerous shell casings in the street, and there were two vehicles that were riddled with bullets.

There was another shooting in an alley near the 300 block of Orchid Lane at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Isais Lopez, 24, of Ontario and an 18-year-old friend from Pomona were walking in the alley when they were shot by unknown suspects. Lopez died at the scene, and his friend was rushed to an area hospital for emergency surgery.

Two hours before that, 45-year-old Jose Cerda was also shot and killed on Lexington Avenue, west of Garey Avenue at about 9:30 p.m. Police say Cerda, a Pomona resident, was riding his bicycle in the area when a vehicle pulled up alongside him, and someone inside opened fire. Cerda was pronounced dead at the scene.

The suspect vehicle was seen making a U-turn and driving back westbound on Lexingon Avenue, then south on Park Avenue.

Hours before the shootings, families filled the Civic Center for a rally hosted by two churches. Dozens of people released balloons in memory of loved ones lost to gun violence.

Pastor Chris Cotinola says there are more than a dozen unsolved murders in Pomona this year, and one of them includes his own son.

"No one's been either arrested, or brought up for it, so there's a lot of unanswered questions, and there's a lot of family members looking around wondering how come there hasn't been any of that," Cotinola said.

For the family of Angel Bravo, they're left trying to comprehend how someone can take a life, without hesitation.

"What statement are these people making?" said Skinner. "There's not a statement, and it's just so sad to me, but what is really heartbreaking to me is that that's my baby and now he's not here anymore."

Anyone with information is urged to call Pomona police at (909) 620-2085. Callers can remain anonymous.


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