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Reseda shooting suspect identified as Iraq war veteran

The suspected gunman who killed one person and injured another at a Reseda apartment complex has been identified.
December 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The suspected gunman who killed one person and injured another at a Reseda apartment complex has been identified.

Los Angeles police say 32-year-old Ricardo Javier Tapia, an Iraq war veteran, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and has shown irrational behavior following multiple deployments.

Authorities say the shooting occurred around 6:40 p.m. Friday at an apartment building on the 7200 block of Canby Avenue.

Investigators say Tapia, who apparently lives in the apartment complex, fired many times in multiple directions, striking two of his neighbors.

Police say the suspect shot at an elderly couple, killing the husband and seriously injuring his wife. The husband, identified as a man in his 70s, was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife remains hospitalized in critical condition following numerous surgeries.

Tapia then fired several more rounds into the apartment complex and then went banging on doors with the gun.

"I heard a gun shooting, and then I saw him - he was upstairs and he was just screaming and then he was all red and bloody," said neighbor Amy Cobangbang.

When officers arrived on scene, Tapia was shirtless and covered in blood. He charged at officers with his hands up, and officers tackled and restrained him. They used a Taser on him, placed him on a gurney and transported him to an area hospital.

A neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said the suspect was in his apartment and allegedly heard a thump.

"I guess that thump triggered everything else and he figured the house was under attack," she said.

The motive for the shooting remains under investigation, but the handgun used in the crime was recovered at the scene. Witnesses said the suspect was shouting random comments and behaving erratically.

Tapia's wife is the manager of the apartment complex. She is pregnant with their second child. Tapia is being held on $1 million bail.

Anyone with information regarding the incident was urged to contact the West Valley Homicide Unit at (818) 374-7720.


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