An investigation was under way today into the .
A patrol deputy driving in the 11900 block of Arkansas Street about 1:50 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2 discovered the wounded victim, who was later identified as Serafin Garcia of Artesia.
Garcia owned a home since 2001 in the block where he was shot, according
According to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lt. Ed Hernandez, the deputy became aware of trouble in the area when she spotted a light blue car with a shattered window parked on the street. A trail of blood found near the vehicle, led the deputy to the victim who was laying in the front yard of a home with two gunshot wounds to his upper torso.
Garcia was declared dead at the scene, according to a coroner's investigator.
Hernandez said the damaged car was registered to the victim, however it was unclear at this point whether he was shot while operating the vehicle.
Based on the evidence, which included several bullet casings scattered along the street and sidewalk, Hernandez said there is a possibility that the victim may have been caught in the crossfire of rival gang members.
"There are no witnesses to the shooting at this point," Hernandez said. "We are actually encouraging anyone in the area who may have heard or saw something to call Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau or provide tips through Crime Stoppers, where tips can be made anonymously.
Anyone with more information about the killing was urged to call Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500. Those who prefer to remain anonymous, should call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.
Capt. Ladenheim: "We Are Dedicated to Public Safety in Artesia"
When asked about the murder investigation, Capt. Merrill Ladenheim of the Lakewood Sheriff's Station (which services the city of Artesia) emphasized that the station remained focused on the safety of Artesia residents.
"We are dedicating a significant amount of resources to this case and right now, I don't believe we have a whole lot to go on," Ladenheim said. "But I can tell you that we are dedicated to public safety in Artesia. Fortunately, murders like this are an anomaly and infrequent in this community but in the meantime we are applying as many resources as we can to solve this case."
The last homicide reported in the city of Artesia took place just after midnight on Aug. 20, 2008, when Cerritos resident Jonathan Muse, a 17-year-old student, was gunned down while riding his bicycle on Pioneer Boulevard under the Artesia (91) Freeway.
Muse's death still remains under investigation by the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau.
- City News Service contributed to a portion of this report.