Police Questioning Man in Deadly Downey Shooting Rampage

Police detained four people for questioning in the Downey shootings Thursday, three were released while one who matches the description of the shooter remains in custody.

Police investigators today were questioning a man matching the description of the suspect in a shooting spree that killed three people and wounded two others in Downey earlier this week.

Three other people detained Thursday for questioning in connection to the fatal shootings were later released, Downey police Lt. Dean Milligan said.

"The adult male subject is currently in the process of being questioned by Downey police detectives regarding his knowledge of the incident," Milligan said at a news conference in front of City Hall.

The people slain in Wednesday's violence were related, leading investigators to conclude that the family was being specifically targeted "at their place of business and their residence," Milligan said. But authorities did not immediately advance a theory on a motive.

Gunfire erupted around 11:10 a.m. Wednesday at United States Fire Protection in the 8700 block of Cleta Street, and a short time later at a home two blocks away, according to police.

Victims Identified by Police

Two people died at the business -- one male and one female -- while another female victim was killed at the home, police said. The deceased victims were identified by Milligan on Thursday as Josimar Rojas, 26, and Susana Perez- Ruelas, 34, both of Downey, and Irene Cardenas, 35, of Cudahy.

Two other people were wounded and were listed in critical but stable condition. One of the wounded was a 13-year-old boy, who has been released from an area hospital and returned to his family, Milligan said.

Officials said the gunman first went into the business, spoke with some people inside and then opened fire, then went down the street to the home, which police said was a residence of either the business owner or relatives.

Police said they received two 911 calls about the shootings, one at 11:12 a.m. telling them shots were fired at the business, and then five minutes later reporting shots fired at the residence nearby in the 8500 block of Cleta Street.

After the shooting at the home, the suspect drove away in a 2010 black Chevrolet Camaro with California license plate 6LEA010, police said. The car is owned by one of the victims or a relative of a victim, Milligan said.

The car was recovered in Los Angeles, he said.

The motive for the shootings remained a mystery. Milligan said none of the victims could identify the suspect, and there was no immediate evidence that anything was stolen from either the business or home.


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