<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Southern California News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:31:34 -0700 Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:31:34 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Air Force Captain ID’d in Crash as SoCal Resident]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:24:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/camarillo-airforce-100315.PNG

An air force captain from Ventura County was identified as one of 13 killed in Afghanistan when a transport plane went down, according to a statement released by the United States Department of Defense.

The transport plane carrying Jonathan J. Golden, 33, of Camarillo went down 80 miles east of Kabul on Friday.

The other soldiers killed in the crash were Capt. Jordan B. Pierson, 28, of Abilene, Texas; Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Hammond, 26, of Moundsville, West Virginia; Senior Airman Quinn L. Johnson-Harris, 21, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain, 29, of Pensacola, Florida; and Airman 1st Class Kacey E. Ruiz, 21, of McDonough, Georgia.

Five civilian contractors, who were passengers, and two Afghan civilians were killed.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Golden’s brother spoke to NBC4, saying he was the "backbone of the family."

<![CDATA[East LA Band Channels Latino Experience ]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:53:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Las_Cafeteras_Taps_Into_Life_in_East_LA_1200x675_537812035897.jpg

No matter where you come from, where you live, we all have something to say about who we are and where we have been, and nowhere is that more true than in a diverse city like Los Angeles.

For one local music group, their mission is to inspire everyone to tell their personal stories and make connections, all while fighting injustice and pushing for a more productive future for all.

“Es la bamba rebelde… porque somos chicanas, porque somos chicanas de east la, ay arriba y arriba,” sings members of LA band Las Cafeteras.

Band members describe their music as the embodiment of the streets where they live, where people fish in the lake while the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles peer overhead.

“What was happening on the street corners at 2 a.m.,” explained Daniel French.

The six-member group, including two women from East L.A., Las Cafeteras speaks to what it’s like to grow up here, even discussing the struggles of their own families.

“My pops passed away a year and a half ago with no papers, you know what I am saying,” said Hector Flores. “He had hepatitis C and he was dying and he couldn't get Medicare because he couldn't have papers because that's not allowed here.”

The band doesn’t mince words, whether it’s singing their original song “Trabajador Trabadora,” an homage to laborers and working people or when they revamp popular tunes like “La Bamba.”

Their take? ”La Bamba Rebelde.”

“Las Cafeteras are storytellers. We are not a political band, we are storytellers,” Flores said.

But their music has been connected to different causes, and even used in Spanish telenovelas.

For many folks who come out to see them perform, though, it’s that storytelling that makes them so appealing.

“This music sort of became a tool for us to then tell our stories and sing our stories and encourage other people to do the same,” said Leah Rose Gallegos.

The group began forming its sound at the East Side Cafe in El Sereno, a collective community space. They learned "Son Jarocho," a centuries-old style of music from the Mexican state of Veracruz

“Once I played the jarana it was over,” Flores said, referring to a guitar-shaped stringed instrument from the southern region of Veracruz. “It was like I was playing rhythms of my peoples.”

Their music is brought to life by traditional instruments like the jarand; the requinto; a donkey jawbone; the cajon, a box-shaped percussion instrument; and a wooden platform called the tarima used to dance zapateado, creating its own sound considered instrumental.

“We heard it at this effort to save this big community garden in South L.A.,” French recalled. “It was part of the soundtrack to that movement.”

“The movement for me was about healthy food; it was about (autonomy), respecting our elders and the knowledge that they carry.”

Today, it’s about the knowledge that the Cafeteras carry. The song “Mujer Soy” is about the weight of the lives many women lead.

“Whether we were harassed on the streets, whether we complained about having an earlier curfew than our male cousins,” said Denise Carlos.

“In our culture of ‘hush, hush, whisper, whisper,’ you know you don't have to deal with domestic violence,” Carlos explained.

There are songs in Spanish, English and so-called “Spanglish.” Some of their songs touch on the struggles of the heart.

The message behind “Luna Lovers: “To be on a mission to love ourselves deeper and deeper and through that when we fall in love with ourselves that just will extend beyond ourselves.”

Extending beyond who they are is why they are embarking on a new tour around the nation- nearly a decade after they came together.

“I think there is a movement right now of tapping into who you are,” Flores said.

They want their music to inspire others to find their own voices.

“We want you to start like repping where you are from, where your ancestors from and because the more you understand where you've been the more you understand where you need to go,” he added.

And they want their listeners to stand up for themselves.

“There are people telling razas what they can and can't do, directly and indirectly telling us how smart we are and how smart we are not,” Flores said.

Combined, these college educated, 30-somethings have three master’s degrees. One member is starting his doctorate in chicano chicana studies at UCLA.

“Most important thing is that we are continuing to learn about ourselves and our communities,” David Flores said. “The more I understand my journey the more I can understand someone else’s journey.”

Want to see Las Cafeteras in concert? Check out their schedule here.

<![CDATA[Video Emerges After Mentally Ill Woman Shot by Police]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:27:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Questions_After_Mentally_Ill_Woman_Killed_by_Police_1200x675_534026307818.jpg

New video footage emerged Saturday of the moments after Los Angeles Police Department officers shot and killed a mentally-ill woman Sept. 27 in South Los Angeles.

The cell phone video shows police surrounding Norma "Angie" Guzman, 37, just after the shooting.

Sergio, who asked not to show his face on camera, was nearby and didn't see the confrontation between Guzman and the officers

"I heard four very loud shots," Sergio said. "I turned around, and I see this lady spread all over the sidewalk; a very bloody scene."

Police responded to a call reporting Guzman allegedly threatening a man with a knife, which she refused to drop, police said.

Protesters gathered Saturday to march from San Pedro Street -- the scene of the crime -- to LAPD's Newton Division Office to demand major departmental changes.

"We feel that other methods could have been used to stop her rather than putting four bullets into her," David Sanchez, a protester, said.

Guzman's family said she was prone to outbursts, during which she would shout and behave irrationally.

"She might have had a few problems, but that's no reason to shoot her down, dead," Sanchez said.

Rufino Munoz, Guzman's friend of 15 years, said she wasn't a violent person.

Protesters said they believe the police overreacted, but Munoz said he understood their decision to shoot.

"They have a family to go to," Munoz said. "They have children to see tonight."

LAPD has not commented on the incident, and said the investigation was ongoing. 

<![CDATA[Muralist Honors Latino Veterans]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:55:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hh_special_oc_muralist_final_1200x675_537906243577.jpg

It rises along the side of an unassuming grocery store, a tribute more than three years in the making.

Carlos Aguilar has spent hundreds of mornings spent climbing a ladder, balancing on a scaffold, to give names and faces to our veterans.

“I met this World War II veteran and I was so fascinated by his story, that left a seed inside my brain,” Aguilar said. “It grew and grew and, ‘I should paint a World War II memorial,’ and it grew from that.”

Aguilar dedicated more than three years to his vision to honor the vets of Santa Ana’s Logan Street neighborhood.

People in the neighborhood bring him their pictures, and their stories, from World War II to Iraq.

He said he can’t turn anyone away because he honors their service and their sacrifice.

“You can imagine some that of these guys were 19, 18 years old,” he said.

You see names like Rodriguez, Gomez, Martinez. Some of the men were not even citizens, but on the battlefield, were simply Americans.

“I wanted to put them on a higher pedestal, to say ‘hey, they were dying alongside you guys on the battlefield,’” Aguilar said.

Aguilar has made his own sacrifice. He works odd jobs and construction to make ends meet, and to support his passion.

“I come out here and I find myself in the same situation as when I started three years ago, with no funds, no money, but I come away with something more than that,” he said.

Aguilar has planned for there to be 160 faces on this wall when it’s done, but the connections he has made through the process will keep it a work of living art even after the final stroke is painted.

“The impact of that and hearing the stories, that’s something I take with me. It’s going to be hard for me to let go.”

<![CDATA[Artist Brings Life to Latino Heritage]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:16:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/172*120/10.03.15_Sergio-Hernandez.png

When artists blend paint together, they are looking for just right the shades, just the right tones, for what they are about to create.

But in the Southern California Hispanic community, one artist mixes so much more. His works are an expression of today’s headlines, politics and something very unique -- his heritage.

Far away from the city, we found the man who for decades has been a voice of Mexican-American struggles, but not through spoken words.

“I am not a very good orator or writer, but I can draw, I can draw in sound bites,” said Sergio Hernandez, a respected artist in the Latino community and beyond.

A world of vibrant colors is reflected in the chili peppers he roasts in his spare time to celebrate his culture, and is reflected in the oil he puts to canvas.

Hernandez said his murals are a way to connect with the community.
“That’s a way for me to make statements about what I see, what bothers me, what bothers a lot of people who don’t say thing about these issues,” he said.

Issues like immigration.

“The irony is, the people who are going to be building the wall are the people you are trying to keep out of your country,” he said.

He thinks about historical parallels.

“It just hit me one day that the farm workers’ struggle for a living wage is almost as epic as the battle of Iwo Jima.”

The 66-year-old man, who was raised in a modest home in South LA, has turned to art as a rallying cry since he was a young man.

In the 1960s, the college student and a cadre of colleagues created a literary magazine in Los Angeles called “Consafos”, meaning “with respect.”

It was conceived and published because there was no Chicano venue for artists and poets.

These days, Sergio is relying more and more on pen-and-ink as the medium for his message.

Sergio has even contributed his cartoons to the Antelope Valley Press, a newspaper covering one of LA County’s most conservative areas.

“I wanted to connect to a larger audience. They didn’t always publish everything though,” he said, laughing.

Hernandez said he has always kept his humor about him in his work, something that is clear and evident in some pieces.

North Korea’s dictator as King Kong conquering Sony, remembering journalists killed by terrorists.

And then, of course, the current media darling, Donald Trump.

“Yes, he is a character,” Hernandez said.

But his inspiration comes not just from current events, but what he has witnessed working for LA County for more than thirty years.

“I was an investigator for the public defender’s office. I saw a lot of problems with the family structure. Everything is not great and good. The issues are out there. We need to address them,” he said.

Hernandez said he believes he has captured in one his most controversial paintings, an almost-banned painting from an exhibition honoring “Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

“These guys that have these tattoos on them, other religious icons, and then they are out mistreating their families,” he said.

It’s called “The Last Slap.”

“She’s there, she’s not going to take it any longer,” he said. “We need to empower women and it’s happening.”

Though his past works include contributing to a mural that once hung at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, what’s ahead is hard to envision.

“You have these clashes of cultures, it’s bad,” he said.

The artist is working on a triptych of Mexican-American history for the LA County Chicano Employees Association. Of the three panels, the past is already hanging, the present is underway. But he has yet to decide what to do with the panel designated for the future.

“I don’t know how I am going to deal with it,” he said, looking at the blank canvas.

But the colors will undoubtedly come and so will the message. The art of Sergio Hernandez never suggests staying silent.

“We need our voices to be heard.”

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Marine Biologist Hopes to Inspire Latino Kids]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 16:03:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Latino_Marine_Biologists_Urges_Kids_to_Try_Science_1200x675_537825859696.jpg

As a boy growing up in Miami, the water was a second home to Danny Munoz. He loved watching the fish from behind the glass of the man aquariums he owned as a kid.

Now a marine biologist at Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific, he spends his days in the water taking care of the fish and coral.

One of the few Latinos in the industry, the Cuban American is now inspiring other to jump right in.

“I guess when I was younger, the way they moved, seeing their bright colors,” Munoz explained, describing his love of sea life.

At 17, he and earned his scuba certification, allowing him to jump right in on the action.

“Once I was able to actually dive and see these animals for myself, then it just went to a whole other level,” he said, of the moment that sealed the deal on his future career.

“It was kind of, it was inevitable,” he said. “I knew I was going to do something with the ocean. Working day in and day out with these animals, diving any chance I got, even on my own.”

That passion led him to his job at the aquarium, where he maintains exhibits, letting him live his passion every day -- with a wetsuit as his uniform.

Munoz is himself a rare fish in the sea as a Latino marine biologist.

“I think we are a small group,” he said. “It would be great to continue to push Latinos forward, not into just marine biology, but science.”

And he knows that getting more people involved would help the ocean he loves so much.

“The ocean is in trouble. I think we all know that it's kind of on us to get that message out there, inspire people.”

And it's that educational message he's proud to pass along in his native language, hoping it might spark an interest.

“There's always a few Latino kids and I recognize them and they want to ask me questions and sometimes it's in Spanish,” he said. “I don't know, maybe they wouldn't of asked that question if it wasn't me and it was someone who didn't speak Spanish.”

He said he thanks his Cuban immigrant parents for encouraging him to follow his dreams, never forgetting what his mom always told him.

“Lo que es pa ti nadie te lo quita.”

If it's intended for you, if it’s meant for you, no one can take that from you.

<![CDATA[Los Anges County Jails Closed to Visitors]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 14:30:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/LAgenerics+prison+bars+jail.jpg

All Los Angeles County jails will be closed to visitors Saturday and Sunday to allow for a comprehensive security assessment of visiting areas following the escape of a prisoner from the Men's Central Jail.

"It's not necessarily a lockdown,'' Sheriff's Deputy Trina Schrader said. "They just want to make sure this doesn't happen again."

The inmate assaulted sheriff's deputies and ran out of the jail through the visiting area at 2:10 p.m. Friday, Schrader said.

Deputies chased him on foot and he was caught on Rosabell Street near Vignes Street, Schrader said

Three deputies suffered minor injuries, and the suspect was hospitalized for injuries he suffered from attempting to climb through barbed wire and falling off a wall, according to Schrader.

All downtown jail facilities were placed on lockdown directly after the escape, Schrader said.

The inmate was not identified, nor was the nature of his offense provided.


City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Driver Charged in Irvine Crash That Killed 5]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 11:41:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/file-teens-killed-crash-irvine.jpg

A teen driver who was involved in a fiery crash last year while returning home from Knott's Scary Farm has been charged in connection with the deaths of five other teenagers.

Bradley Morales, who was 16 years old at the time, was taken into custody and booked into the Orange County Juvenile Detention Center on Saturday- nearly one year after the crash.

Morales was charged with five felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, driving a motor vehicle without a driver's license and failure to show proof of financial responsibility in connection with the Oct. 4th, 2014, tragic collision on the 5 Freeway in Irvine.

"Our investigators took a great deal of time and painstakingly went over this case to ensure a thorough and comprehensive investigation was completed," Capt. R. Shackleford of the California Highway Patrol said in a statement.

The teenagers were on the southbound 5 Freeway in Irvine returning home from a night at the Halloween-themed event in Buena Park when the white BMW sedan struck a guardrail, rolled off an embankment and became fully engulfed in flames, according to investigators.

The teens were identified as Jennifer Bahena, 14 of Laguna Hills; Jennifer Campos, 15, of Aliso Viejo; Matthew Ivan Melo, 15, of Mission Viejo; Brandon Alejandro Moreno, 14, of Mission Viejo; and Alejandro (Alex) Sotelo, 14, of San Juan Capistrano, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Four teens were found dead inside the car and Morales was found outside the car about 50 yards away, investigators said. The body of another teen was discovered inside the vehicle several hours after the crash.

<![CDATA[Motor Home, Cars Destroyed in Fire]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 11:33:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/San+Fernando+RV+fire.JPG

A motor home and several vehicles caught fire in San Fernando early Saturday morning, officials said.

Firefighters responded to the 870 block of North Griswold Avenue about 12:30 a.m., where a motor home and other cars were on fire, accoding to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Firefighters were able to knock down the fire in about 15 minutes.

No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Photo Credit: Loudlabs News]]>
<![CDATA[Reseda Man Defends Home Against Invasion]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 11:17:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/reseda+home+invasion.JPG

A Reseda resident defended his home after a man attempted to break in early Saturday morning, according to LAPD.

The Los Angeles Police Department responded to the 6600 block of Sylvia Avenue in Reseda just after midnight.

The home's resident was sleeping when he heard someone trying to break into his house and armed himself with a handgun, officers said.

He reportedly fired a shot when he saw a male in dark clothing in his kitchen doorway.

The suspect fled, and police report there was no evidence that the suspect was hit.

LAPD has not been able to locate the suspect.

Photo Credit: Loudlabs News]]>
<![CDATA[Pedestrian Fatally Struck By Train in Riverside]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 07:30:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/ped_hit_by_train.PNG

A pedestrian was killed after being struck by a train early Saturday morning in Riverside, firefighters said.

The collision was reported around 1:09 a.m. near Magnolia Avenue and Lincoln Street. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Riverside County Fire Department.

The age and gender of the victim was unknown.

No other injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: LoudLabs]]>
<![CDATA[ER Nurse Discovers Hit-and-Run Patient is Dying Brother]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:53:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/Andy+2.jpg

An emergency room nurse was trying to cope with the heartbreak after she discovered that the patient she was treating while working the night shift at a Southern California hospital was her dying brother.

Cesar Andres Medina, known to friends as Andy, was transported to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in San Juan Capistrano Friday night.

His sister, Jennifer Medina, was working a busy shift at the hospital when her 23-year-old brother was brought in unresponsive and not breathing.

As doctors worked frantically to save Medina, Jennifer Medina and her coworker looked for his identification. "I recognized the wallet ... And she opened it up and it was my brother's face right there," said Jennifer Medina in tears. "Everything just collapsed I just couldn't hold it together."

The collision was reported around 10:10 p.m. on Del Obispo Street and Paseo Carolina, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Witness accounts and evidence shows Medina was struck in the crosswalk as he crossed from the south to the north side of Del Obispo, OCSD said. Witnesses also said Cesar Andres Medina had the right of way while crossing on a green light.

Investigators described the driver's vehicle as an early 2000 model, faded black pick-up truck with tinted windows and possible front end damage.

Family members are pleading with the public to find the driver involved in the crash.

"Please I'm begging the guy that killed my nephew to go to the police," said Mary Floyd, the victim's aunt.

"I just knew I wanted to say my last goodbyes to Andy after they cleaned him up," said Jennifer Medina. "And tell him how much I love him."

A GoFundMe page has been set up in Cesar Andres Medina's memory.

Anyone with information about the vehicle or who witnessed this collision is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Traffic Bureau at (714) 647-7000 or (949) 425-1860.

<![CDATA[Man Seriously Wounded in Oxnard Shooting]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 07:23:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/oxnard_shooting.PNG

A man was in critical condition after he was shot Friday night in Oxnard, police said.

The shooting was reported around 7:50 p.m. in the 5200 block of Courtland Street. Officers arrived and found a 19-year-old man suffering from two gunshot wounds, according to the Oxnard Police Department.

The victim was transported to a hospital in critical condition, according to the Oxnard Police Department.

Wtinesses reported seeing two men possibly involved in the shooting, police said.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Ventura County Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Photo Credit: VCNews]]>
<![CDATA[DNA Leads to Accused Killer's Cold Case Arrest]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 03:57:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/175*120/10.02.15_Cold-Case-Helen-Meyler.JPG

When the elegant 79-year-old Helen Meyler was brutally murdered inside her Hollywood apartment in August 1972, neighbors and family were shocked and horrified.

Someone had entered her secured, second-floor unit in the middle of the night, sexually assaulter her and then bludgeoned her to death with a candelabra in her own bed. The culprit left behind no witnesses and no fingerprints.

Detectives grew frustrated as days, months, years and decades wore on and there were few leads in the case. But now, technology may have finally caught up with the murderer.

“I didn’t dream that 43 years later, I would be testifying on this case,” said retired Detective Chuck Gourley, who was part of the original investigation.

Known in this case as Spiderman, investigators think a man who has been in prison since the 1980s is responsible for the brutal slaying.

“The DNA evidence has gotten us to Mr. Holman and there is no doubt about that,” said Detective Richard Bengtson, a cold case investigator with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Harold Holman has been in jail since 1980, serving a 45-year sentence for a double homicide.

Bengtson said Holman admitted that before he went to jail, he was robbing high-rise apartment buildings every other day for several years.

That's why Bengtson believes there are other victims.

“Harold Holman was not targeting a certain type of victim,” he said. “He was targeting a certain type of building.”

Holman made his criminal career as a burglar with a very unusual mode of operating — scaling the side of a building.

“It’s brave, it’s stupid and it’s crafty,” said Bengtson. “He would jump and pull himself up ... it is an incredible feat of strength.”

In 1975, LAPD detectives on stake out watched in near disbelief as Holman climbed up to the fourth floor balcony, then the fifth, sixth, and continued pulling himself all the way up to the twelfth floor of a building, later described in court documents.

“It’s almost unhuman,” Bengston said.

In a jailhouse interview, Holman told Bengtson he would take cash, jewelry and fur coats.

“And then comes right back down the way he went up,” Bengston said.

During a recent court appearance, the nearly 70-year-old Holman attempted to fire his public defender.

“She has been bullshitting and lying to me and the court,” he argued. He argued with the judge, and said he wanted to defend himself.

Helen Meyler’s granddaughters have attended some of the court hearings.

“When I saw him in the courtroom, I just felt really sorry for him,” Nikki Meyler Ramos said.

But the family said they keep the good memories of their grandmother, before the horror.

“We didn’t call her grandma, we called her mimi,” Nikki remembered. “Always happy and smiling.”

“You can tell by her wrinkles — they are all happy. She smiled a lot,” said namesake granddaughter Helen Meyler Ramos.

“She spent her whole life giving. She worked for orphanages. She worked for hospitals,” Nikki recalled.

Bengtson said he gets nervous when he makes the call to families, letting them know a cold case may finally be solved.

“At first it’s really happy emotions, then you see the sadness come back a little bit because they start missing their family member,” he said.

The last of LAPD’s original Cold Case Unit detectives, Bengtson says this work is an honor.

“I get to speak for the victim — when the victim can’t speak anymore because they've been silenced by some evil monster,” he said.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Security Expert Says He Rejected Gunman's Weapons Training]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 01:25:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10.01.15-chris-harper-mercer.jpg

A man claims the shooter who went on a mass killing in Oregon approached him in Torrance when he wanted firearms training, but he rejected him.

Eloy Way, a firearms instructor, said he rejected Chris Harper-Mercer's application after having met him for just five minutes.

"He called me," Way said. "He seemed normal on the phone. I didn't turn him down because I thought he was going to go and shoot somebody. I turned him down because he seemed a little bit too eager to learn high-level tactics like what law-enforcement and military people do. And he seemed immature and high strung."

Mercer attended a Torrance school for students with emotional issues.

In 2008, Mercer enlisted in the United States Army but was released after about one month, according to the Pentagon.

Mercer then shared a Torrance apartment with his mother.

Four years ago they moved to Oregon where neighbors recall Mercer as "troubled."

"I thought he was kind of an odd guy, he was kind of like a grown little kid. He would have tantrums if something didn't go his way."

Way feels there's a lesson in his encounter with Harper-Mercer.

"Somebody called, said his name," Way said. "I was like, oh ... I got my staff together and explained to them that this is exactly why we screen people."

Authorities said Mercer collected 13 firearms, all legally purchased by him or family members from a federal gun dealer.

<![CDATA[Police Pursuit Turns Into Standoff at In-N-Out]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 23:55:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/234*120/10-2-15_Pursuit.JPG

A slow-speed pursuit ended Friday night with a standoff and arrest of the driver of a white car in the parking lot of an In-N-Out restaurant in the San Fernando Valley.

The man was arrested after 11 p.m. as a long line of drivers waited in the drive-thru line and others got out of their cars, snapping pictures while a large group of officers gathered around after the arrest.

The incident took place at the restaurant at Blythe Street and Van Nuys Boulevard in Panorama City.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[California Would-Be Burglar Tries to Break Out of Store]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:14:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/193*120/10.02.15_Sprint-Store-Breakin-Pomona.JPG

Usually a burglar's goal is to break into a business, but that wasn’t the case in Pomona, California where an accused burglar tried desperately to break out of a mobile phone store.

The unusual circumstances were all caught on surveillance video, after the shop owner said a burglar broke in through the roof, and then got trapped inside the store.

Owner Miguel Cejas said the would-be thief broke into the Sprint store, 20/20 mobile, through the A/C vents.

But after falling to the floor, it appeared the accused burglar quickly realized that there was no merchandise in the locked cage where he’d landed.

It was empty because the store doesn't officially open until next week.

"He then just does a beeline to the exit here,” said Cejas, looking at the surveillance footage

And that’s where Cejas said the would-be burglar made a big mistake, because he just ran into a bandit trap.

"They're pretty well built,” Cejas said. “Nothing comes in and nothing comes out."

Cejas owns 16 mobile phone stores, and some his stores have been burglarized several times, so he turned this newest one into a mini fortress, with reinforced doors that automatically close behind you.

In the video, you can see the accused burglar kicking the doors repeatedly, trying desperately to get out. The alarms blared and at one point the man breaks down a door, but it just led into an empty room.

After 45 minutes of kicking, he stopped to drink water from a spigot and then finally gave up.

Cejas arrived later to unlock the doors so that police could arrest the man.

"Finally to catch somebody,” Cejas said. “It was delightful."

Soon after the break in, Cejas had his roof reinforced to prevent a break-in from happening again.

He said he now has this warning for criminals.

"Don't try to come into my store because you're not getting into my store 20/20 Mobile," he said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Miguel Cejas]]>
<![CDATA[Train Hero Avoided Oregon Rampage Due to TV Show]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 21:25:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/10-2-15-Alek_Skarlatos.JPG

One of the heroes credited with taking down a terrorist on a French train would have been attending a class at a community college in Oregon when a gunman opened fire in a mass shooting if he hadn't been at a rehearsal for "Dancing With the Stars."

Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was one of three Americans credited with stopping a terrorist attack on a train in August, bolted from the "Dancing With the Stars" set when he heard about the massacre and headed straight to Roseburg, Oregon, a community he calls home.

"It takes a special kind of person to live here," he said. "It's kind of a tough place to make a living and it's a really resilient community and the people who are here are here for a reason. It's definitely a setback, but it's not going to crush this community at all."

Skarlatos said he was going to take some classes Umpqua Community College if it hadn't been for the unexpected opportunity to appear on the hit reality TV show.

Skarlatos said he would have tried to take down Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, 26, if he had been in the classroom when Harper-Mercer, an Army boot camp dropout who studied mass shootings, opened fire, killing nine people before he was shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with police.

Skarlatos said he was with "Dancing" partner Lindsay Arnold when he received a text from a friend about the shooting. He said he then looked up the news on the Internet to confirm it.

"I just sat down for a second and then hid in the bathroom so the cameras couldn't see me," he said.

As far as he knows, none of his friends were among the victims.

"My heart really goes out to the people who can't say the same," he said.

Skarlatos and two friends, U.S. Air Force Airman Spencer Stone, 23, and Anthony Sadler, 23, received worldwide acclaim when they tackled the gunman aboard a train while vacationing in Europe. The heroics earned Skarlatos his stint on "Dancing With the Stars."

The next installment of the competition airs on Monday. If he misses that show he would be eliminated under the rules.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Possible Additional Victims of Sex Assaults Sought]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 21:56:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*192/10-2-15-David_Bruce.jpg

The Orange County District Attorney's Office is seeking the public's help identifying potential additional victims of David Michael Bruce, a former junior high school drama teacher charged with sexually assaulting six boys under the age of 15.

Bruce, 65, is charged with nine felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14 and two felony counts of lewd acts on a child age 14 or 15. If convicted, Bruce up to 125 years to life in state prison, prosecutors said.

Bruce was employed as a drama teacher at Sycamore Junior High School in Anaheim at the time of the allegations. He retired in 2010, but worked as a substitute teacher at the school until 2013, officials said.

The assaults allegedly took place between Aug. 1, 1996, and June 30, 2011, authorities said.

Bruce was arrested on Sept. 9 after a sibling of one of the victims made an allegation to the Anaheim Police Department. The suspect was released from custody the same day after posting $100,000 bail.

A subsequent investigation by the Anaheim Police Department led to the discovery of the five additional victims, resulting in Bruce's re-arrest on Sept. 30 on a $1 million arrest warrant.

Bruce is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 29.

Anyone with information or who believes they may have been a victim is encouraged to contact APD Detective Cashell at (714) 765-1972 or OCDA Supervising District Attorney Investigator Mark Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794.

<![CDATA[Men Sentenced for Christmas Day Murder]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 01:48:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Gavel+Stock.jpg

Two alleged gang members were sentenced to life in prison for killing a woman in front of her 3-year-old daughter five years ago on Christmas, and another man received a 40-year sentence.

Darnell Deshon Houston, 38, Lamar McKnight, 28, and Derrick Williams, were sentenced Friday for the murder of Kashmier James.

"You took my mommy away from me," said James' daughter Naveah Jackson before the men were sentenced.

"Why have you not said you're sorry for taking my mommy away from me?" Jackson asked. "You are mean, evil people."

On the night of the murder, the three men, members of the 111 Neighborhood Crips, drove to rival gang territory looking for victims. The three men saw James talking to a man outside of her car, and assumed he was a member of the rival gang.

The gunman, Houston, jumped out of the car McKnight was driving and began shooting. James was hit in the head and immediately collapsed. The man James was speaking to was able to escape unharmed. Jackson remained in James' car during the shooting.

"You took a life away," James' mother Kimmolita Evans said to the three defendants. "I want you to remember her face and know why you are sitting in that jail cell."

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy called James' killing "a really, really horrific crime."

"Christmas is supposed to be one of the happiest days, especially for a child," the judge said. "Instead, this was probably the saddest day of this child's life ... What a horrible thing to do to a child on Christmas."

Kennedy noted that Williams smirked in court.

Williams' lesser sentence was because he was 15 at the time and was a backseat passenger in McKnight's car. The judge said she took into account his age, and limited role in James' murder.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LA Ballet Fetes the 'World's Most Romantic Ballets']]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:58:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/gisellelaballet1.jpg

While cinematic romcoms regularly tell of two people meeting, separating, then comically working the whole thing out, and romantic books delve into the quieter spaces of a relationship, a romantic ballet takes a different, and sometimes fuller, tack: The romance told through movement is all about lushness and beauty and dramatic emotions expressed by a longing look or a coquettish pirouette.

The Los Angeles Ballet will present four of the "world's most romantic ballets" during its highly atmospheric, tulle-soft, grand-of-theme 2015-2016 season, a season that opens with one of the most quintessential and influential of the heart-stirring ballets, "Giselle."

"Giselle" opens the acclaimed troupe's 10th season on Saturday, Oct. 3 in Redondo Beach. 

There is intense love, there are supernatural elements, there are painful partings and necessary forgivings and the full stew of heightened flirtation, all played out by sublime dancers in painting-worthy costumes against museum-ready settings.

Such is the romantic way, in ballet.

And, like a ballerina executing some astounding leaps, "Giselle" will bound across the city, from the ocean to Glendale to Westwood in the course of a few weeks.

More deeply detailed and prettily presented stories are to come over the season. "The Nutcracker" follows "Giselle" -- you've not only heard of it, you now likely have "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in your head for the remainder of the day, after reading this -- and "Don Quixote" and "Romeo and Juliet" are the fanciful fare come 2016.

It's true that movies and books can dominate the arena of amour, at least in fiction, but ballet can go one better than both of those: Dance is the narrator, and music, costuming, performance, and design provide the chorus. It's a fresh (if venerable) way to enjoy tales that the cinema and novels revisit often.

Photo Credit: LA Ballet]]>
<![CDATA[Recovered Pit Bull May Have Been Abused]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 21:20:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/10-2-15-Lucy.JPG

Days after a beloved pit bull was found and returned home, Lucy the pit bull's celebration was cut short after her owners discovered she may have fallen into the hands of dog fighters while she was missing.

Three weeks after escaping her pet sitter's house, Lucy the pit bull was found safe Monday after a successful search launched by hundreds of volunteers. Lucy, who was a rescue, is well known as a greeter for the Westside Pet Clinic in Santa Monica. Her story captured the hearts of thousands on social media who were determined to help in her search.

When Lucy's injuries were examined, specialists suspected that she may have been used as a bait animal, which are used to train fighting dogs.

"This linear scab across her muzzle, it kind of has an indentation," said Tina Son, a vet critical care specialist.

Fighters use dogs as animal bait by tying their mouths closed and breaking and filing down their teeth.

Eleven of Lucy's teeth on her upper jaw are broken or filed down.

"They were perfectly healthy teeth that somehow got this almost filing down effect, down to the level of the gum," Son said.

A bait dog's teeth are removed and filed down to keep them from fighting back and injuring the fighting dog.

"They don't fight back, and they just lay there helpless, and it's basically just to get the taste of blood in their mouths," said Katie Cleary, the founder of the animal welfare organization Peace 4 Animals.

Lucy's owners, Antje Hinz and Finn Egan, are heartbroken.

"I was in agonizing pain for her," Hinz said.

But they hope her story can warn other pet owners of the dangers that can happen to lost pets.

"We want to have people aware that things like this could happen," Egan said. "Make sure you have microchips and tags and take the best safety you can."

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Don't Sell Your Cellphone Until You Read This]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:13:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/AP_917275329034.jpg

Millions of people who wasted no time buying the new iPhone 6s and iPhone6s Plus are trying to figure out what to do with their old cell phones.

While selling a device online for some extra cash is an option, one NBC4 viewer discovered the transaction doesn’t always go smoothly.

Long Beach tech company executive Damian McCann was looking to sell six old iPhones, after purchasing new iPhones for his family.

"I looked online about selling phones, and I found Guzu," McCann told the I-Team.

Guzu, founded in 2011, is one of a growing number of websites that will buy your used cell phones, iPads and even smart watches. After asking a few details about your device, the site generates an instant offer.

"It was $400 [to] $450 for [each] working phone," recalled McCann.

So he followed instructions and shipped the phones to Guzu, expecting what the website promised: that he’d "get paid fast."

"Actually, the check came fairly quickly, so I’m like, 'That’s good,'" McCann said.

But the situation soon went downhill: he said the check for more than a thousand dollars was returned for insufficient funds.

"I end[ed] up being out $12 because I’ve deposited a check with insufficient funds," he said.

McCann emailed customer service and was sent another check, which he said also bounced.

Next, he recalled, Guzu offered to wire money directly to McCann’s bank account, but the wire never arrived.

He’s now been waiting for payment for more than five months.

"At this point they just want me to go away and they’re hoping I will give up," said McCann, who is not the first to complain about Guzu.

The company’s Facebook page contains dozens of messages from angry customers claiming that their checks bounced, or never arrived at all.

It’s a situation that’s not all that unusual, according to Steve McFarland, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau.

"We see a lot of promises from these companies, especially the new startups, that are overwhelmed with customer service issues, that don’t perform on their promises," McFarland said.

The I-Team reached out to Guzu and got an email response from Chief Executive Hesam Meshkat.

"We unfortunately encountered multiple check fraud attempts on our bank accounts in the past two months, which caused a domino effect of issues with our consumer check processing and payment fulfillment," Meshkat wrote. See entire statement below

After reaching out to Meshkat several more times for an update on McCann’s payment, the I-Team heard back this week:

"We have a check going out to him… for his total amount," Meshkat wrote.

"These guys, they took my phone, they took my money – so let’s try and stop that," said McCann. "My lesson shouldn’t be a lesson someone else has to learn, basically, the hard way."

To make sure you make the right choice when selling your cell phone online, the BBB suggests the following:

  • Do your research: check online review sites, like bbb.org or Yelp, to see if the company rates well with consumers.
  • Check the company’s Facebook page for complaints.
  • Beware of offers that seem too good to be true: if a company’s offer is dramatically higher than others, it could be a red flag.
  • Save all correspondence and documents, in case you eventually need to file a complaint.

See below for Guzu’s email response in its entirety:

"We unfortunately encountered multiple check fraud attempts on our bank accounts in past 2 months, which caused a domino effect of issues with our consumer check processing and payment fulfillment. We are aware of the number of people that have been affected by either issues with their checks or delays in payment. Currently, we are in the process of paying all customers that have been affected by these issues…and we hope to have everything caught up within the next week or two.

As a startup that has been bootstrapped from the start, it has been a challenging road to deal with such issues that cause such delays/problems with cash flow. Regrettably, this is clearly not the experience we want our customers to have. Up until this circumstance, we have been able to process over 100,000 customers order to date from the time we launched Guzu.com and hope that we will be able to make it up to customers … after their payment has been processed and if they have an interest to do business with us in the future."

-Hesam Meshkat, Founder & CEO of Guzu Inc. [received Sept. 8, 2015]

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[SoCal Woman Among Victims in Oregon Mass Shooting]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 19:08:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/10-2-15-OC-Oregon-Victim.JPG

Former classmates said they are numb after learning that their friend was killed in the mass shooting at an Oregon community college.

Kim Dietz grew up in Mission Viejo and had just been in Orange County for a 40th high school reunion.

Attorney Rhonda Kreger said the loss comes at a time when Dietz and her husband appeared to have settled into the perfect life.

Kreger remembers a woman who was both athletic and into agriculture.

She said the growth of Orange County wasn't her cup of tea so Dietz and her husband moved to Oregon about 10 years ago.

Dietz stayed in touch with classmates and reconnected on Facebook.

Kreger says Dietz had a positive outlook on life.

Kreger described her as vivacious.

"She loved life to the fullest and she enjoyed every day of her life," Kreger said.

She talked about the vineyard, how much she loved it and about her dogs. She had large dogs, Pyrenees, and they could run free. It was an idyllic life. She was happy, Kreger said.

Dietz and her husband managed a vineyard named Pyrenees. She had been on the college campus taking classes and her daughter was there as well. Her daughter was not hurt.

The vineyard posted on its Facebook page how difficult the loss is for them. They have set up a gofundme site to help with a memorial for her family.

<![CDATA[Olvera Street Receives Big Accolade]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:34:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/98873337+%281%29.jpg

What constitutes a "Great Place" is in the eye, and heart, of a beholder, of course. But the American Planning Association has both the knowledge and the knack for naming those come-together, often-visited-or-traveled spots that hold importance for the immediate neighborhood, the larger community, and the wider world.

The APA, which is the "independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities," just released its fifteen picks for the "Great Places in America." Some are public spaces, or "gathering spaces," where people come together for celebrations and day-to-day events. Some are streets and some are neighborhoods.

And one is Olvera Street, one of our city's most storied, and historic, thoroughfares. The Plaza-close landmark received a 2015 American Planning Association accolade in the "Great Streets" category, along with Laura Street in Jacksonville, Florida; Lexington Avenue in Asheville, North Carolina; Fifth Street in Dayton, Ohio; and Third Street in McMinnville, Oregon.

It's beyond a worthy choice. Not only does the history of Olvera stretch back centuries — the Avila Adobe, which sits near its center, is often billed as "the oldest standing residence in Los Angeles" -- but people enjoy it today. A lot of people, of course; head for Olvera at 10 o'clock in the morning or for a quick enchilada after sundown and the walkable stretch hums with tourists, locals, musicians playing accordions and guitars, artists, and cooks creating comida sabrosa just steps from the booths that line the center. 

The criteria used in picking all of the "Great Places" includes "architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement."

Olvera Street stands for all those things, from the Blessing of the Animals on Easter Saturday to the solemn and candlelit Las Posadas in December to all of its day-to-day vibrancy.

As for other closer-to-us picks on the list? California had another entry: Beautiful Balboa Park, in San Diego, was a choice in the "Great Public Spaces" column.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sheared Fire Hydrant Floods Santa Monica]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:23:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10.02.15_Beverly-Hills-Water-Break_1200x675_537543747504.jpg

Water shot high into the air from a sheared fire hydrant Friday in Beverly Hills, flooding some streets.

The hydrant was near the corner of Santa Monica and Crescent boulevards, west of Canon Drive.

Streets were flooding around 2 p.m., but no lanes of traffic were closed on the affected streets, officials said.

They said the water would be shut off quickly.

The cause of the incident is unknown.

<![CDATA[Gunman's Ex-Neighbors React to Oregon Shooting]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:42:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/10-02-2015-oregon-gunman-shooting-apartment.JPG The man who shot and killed students on an Oregon community college campus attended several schools in Southern California. Adrian Arambulo reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Friday Oct. 2, 2015.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Oregon Gunman's Southern California Ties]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:25:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/196*120/10-02-2015-oregon-shooting-road-closed.JPG A look at some of the Oregon community college gunman's connections to Southern California. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Friday Oct. 2, 2015.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Men Sentenced in Samurai Sword Slayings]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 19:59:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/samurai1.JPG

A man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole and a second man to 125 years to life for murdering five people with a baseball bat and samurai sword in Quartz Hill in 2008.

Steve Kwon, 45, and Jae Shim, 46, each pleaded guilty in connection with the June 23, 2008 slayings of Shim's ex-wife, Young Park, her two children, her fiancé and a NASA scientist at their California desert home.

The victims were stabbed with a samurai sword and bludgeoned with a baseball bat at the house where Park was living with her cousin.

Prosecutors said Shim was angry that his ex-wife, Park, had become engaged to another man.

Shim admitted killing Park's cousin's husband, Joseph Ciganek, a 60-year-old NASA engineer. He also said he killed Park's fiancé, Si Young Yoon, and dumped his body in Mexico.

Mexican police caught Kwon and Shim at the border, after they had dumped Yoon's body out of their car window.

Sham and Kwon sat motionless in court Friday as the victim's families read impact statements describing how their lives had been shattered by the killings.

"You serve to die," said Si Young Yoon's sister, Si-Jeong Yoon.

The judge denied Kwon's subsequent request to withdraw his plea.

City News Service and Gordon Tokumatsu contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Man Sought in Sex Assault of Elderly Woman]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:54:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/Northridge2.jpg

Police were searching for a man who sexually assaulted a woman in her 70s during a home invasion in the Northridge area Wednesday.

The attack occurred in the 18600 block of Vintage Street around 1 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police are searching for witnesses and asking neighbors and business owners to review video from security cameras for anything suspicious.

The public is also being advised to close windows and doors at night, even during hot days, and think twice about answering their doors to strangers.

Residents are concerned about the safety of their neighborhood following the assault.

"I'm afraid," said Karina Tasci, a neighbor. "I have a 17-year-old daughter. When they ask questions, what am I supposed to tell them? How are we supposed to protect them?"

The man was described as a male of Hispanic or Middle Eastern descent with a muscular build who stood 5 feet 7 inches tall. He had black hair rolled up in a ponytail.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Kim Fairchild at the Special Assault Section, Robbery-Homicide Division, at 213-486-6910.

NBC4's Toni Guinyard contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Pop Culture Case of the O.J. Simpson Trial]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 02:57:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/simpson_suit_verdict.jpg

It was a made-for-TV moment, a sequence ingrained in anyone who watched it unfold live or in countless replays since: the disgraced gridiron great, his lawyer's hand on his shoulder, uncoils his clenched frame with a burst of relief, mixed perhaps with a hint of surprise, upon hearing the magic words "not guilty." 

Still, the emotions O.J. Simpson betrayed as he was acquitted 20 years ago Saturday of killing his ex-wife and her friend seemed static compared to the range of reactions from across the country. No matter where you stood on the question of the former football star's guilt or innocence, in that moment the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, the subject of a protracted, at-times lurid spectacle, were never more real to the mass audience.

The verdict offered both surface resolution and a deep, gnawing emptiness to the climax of a case that can never be fully resolved – barring a confession from the murderer, or the "real killers," as Simpson infamously put it.

Long before "Serial" and long after "Perry Mason," there was the O.J. Simpson double murder trial, a national soap opera and obsession that so engulfed, enraged and entertained people it became too easy at times forget the two innocent lives lost in a fury of bloodshed on June 12, 1994.

As for what the so-called Trial of the Century means two decades later, easy explanations are as scarce as witnesses to the killings. The requisite anniversary reflections leave us to focus on what the case wrought, rather than seek elusive, pat lessons.

As previously noted, the blanket media coverage of the fall of one of the country's greatest athletes, whose crossover appeal made him a beloved celebrity, presaged the Internet-driven, incessant stargazing mania. TMZ (via Harvey Levin, one of many reporters to cover the case) is a direct descendant of the trial – as is "CSI" and any crime lab-driven shows where DNA is the key acronym. 

From the Bronco Chase to the verdict, the Simpson case played like a national Reality TV show – one filled with catchphrases ("If it doesn't fit, you must acquit"), high-end brand-name references (Bruno Magli, Louis Vuitton) and a cast of compelling characters (Kato Kaelin, Johnnie Cochran, Marcia Clark, among them). The saga also included a Kardashian (the late family patriarch Robert Kardashian, probably Simpson's closest confidante).

For those of us who spent even a modest amount of time in the Los Angeles courtroom, the proceedings packed the odd feel of being at the taping of a familiar TV show – even if there was only one Judge Ito and he wasn't dancing.

The trial's TV arc culminated not with the verdict, but with widespread coverage of the split reaction beyond the courtroom. The images of those celebrating and those decrying Simpson’s acquittal, along with subsequent polls, exposed a divide, if far from monolithically, along racial lines.

A recent Washington Post-ABC survey indicates the nation is closer to agreeing on Simpson's guilt than it was on Oct. 3, 1995. If nothing else, the results suggest the case still prompts strong feelings, and won't be leaving the mass frame of reference anytime soon. Anyone who wasn't around for the Simpson circus will be able to get a peek through the upcoming FX series, "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson," which stars Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Simpson, if he chooses to watch, likely will be doing so from the Nevada prison where he's serving 33 years for robbery and kidnapping, stemming from a dispute over memorabilia he says was stolen from him. The remnants of past glories represented just about all he had left, even if he probably wasn't planning to sell it to pay off any of the millions he owes to the Brown and Goldman families after losing a wrongful death civil suit in 1997.

The athlete once known as “The Juice,” if only relatively briefly, regained his freedom in 1995, a luxury the victims never had. If she were still alive, Nicole Brown Simpson would be 56 and perhaps hanging out with her pal, Kris Jenner. In a better world, Ronald Goldman, by age 47, would have achieved his dream of opening a restaurant.

The anniversary of the trial’s end likely will mean repeated showings of O.J. Simpson’s reaction to the verdict. Not likely to be seen near as much is the other memorable, more searing image from the courtroom that day: Kim Goldman weeping for her brother as her father, Fred, comforts her and shakes his head in disbelief.

Whether or not the tens of millions witnesses to the verdict reacted with relief or disbelief, all can agree the jury’s rendering didn’t close the debate on a crime that, unlike just about everything else associated with Simpson case, occurred far away from any cameras.



Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Puppy Inside SUV in High-Speed Pursuit Up for Adoption]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 08:03:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*123/husky.JPG

A 6-month-old puppy is up for adoption a month after he was part of a high-speed chase in Southern California that nearly turned fatal for a highway patrolman.

"Chip" was inside a sport utility vehicle driven by a man suspected of shooting a California Highway Patrol officer before a high-speed pursuit in September. Whoever adopts the husky will help out a fund for fallen CHP officers and their families, thanks to a local animal services agency.

Riverside County Animal Services has been caring for Chip, their nickname for the dog, after the traumatic night on Sept. 11, when officers pulled over a man who had been spotted driving erratically in West Covina.

During the stop, the man exited the SUV and fired at the CHP officers, wounding Officer Felix Serpas, 40, a six-year veteran at the CHP, authorities said.

Officers returned fire, and the suspect was also wounded, according to CHP.

The high-speed pursuit ended near Arrow Boulevard and Citrus Avenue in Fontana, when police and a K-9 unit subdued the driver.

Serpas survived the shooting and was treated for his injuries.

The driver, John Alfred Garcia, 30, faced multiple charges, including attempted murder on a peace officer. If convicted, Garcia faces 40 years to life in prison.

The Riverside County Animal Services is offering an opportunity for prospective adopters to adopt Chip for $1 and make a $104 donation to the 11-99 Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of CHP officers and their families.

"We believed that this puppy offered us a unique opportunity to do something for a fallen officer," Animal Services Director Robert Miller said. "This incident was a horrible act against a peace officer. We hope this small gesture on our part – and the prospective adopters' part – helps raise awareness about the dangers all officers face."

Those interested in providing a home for Chip can visit the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley and can deliver or email a short essay on their interest for adoption through the weekend to shelterinfo@rcdas.org. A decision on Chip's adoption will be made on Monday, Oct. 5.

Photo Credit: Riverside County Department of Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[Southern California Traffic Headaches]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 07:00:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-02-2015-hot-tar-truck-spill-71-freeway.JPG Southern California is known for its traffic and congestion. Here are some snapshots to prove it.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Lanes Closed on 60 Freeway After Motorcyclist Killed]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 06:42:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lagenerics-1-a-breaking-news-la-generic-graphic-april2014.gif

Two lanes were shut on the 60 Freeway after a motorcyclist was killed, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident was reported around 6 a.m. on the eastbound 60 Freeway near Diamond Bar Boulevard, according to the CHP.

The motorcyclist died after losing control and hitting a curb, according to the CHP.

The lanes were expected to remain blocked until about 8:30 a.m., according to the CHP.

Refresh this developing story for updates.

<![CDATA[Overturned Dump Truck Spills Hot Asphalt on Freeway]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:10:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-02-2015-hot-tar-truck-spill-71-freeway.JPG

A truck carrying hot asphalt overturned Friday morning in a multiple-vehicle crash that closed part of the 71 Freeway east of Los Angeles.

All lanes were closed on the southbound side of the freeway after the 4:45 a.m. crash at Old Pomona Road in the Pomona area, about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. A dump truck, which spilled the hot tar after toppling onto its side, and at least one other vehicle were involved in the collsion.

No serious injuries were reported, according to the Pomona Police Department.

All lanes remained closed until late Friday morning.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[CHP Shuts Lanes on 405 Freeway After Multi-Car Crash]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 02:47:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lagenerics-generic-ambulance-gurney.jpg

A car crash involving three vehicles and injured one man prompted authorities to close all lanes of the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was reported around 11 p.m. just south of Roscoe Boulevard in North Hills, according to the CHP.

Officers closed all lanes on the southbound 405 Freeway South of Roscoe Boulevard causing traffic to back up about one-to-two miles, according to the CHP.

One man was injured and transported to a hospital. His condition was unknown.

CHP was investigating the cause of the crash.

It was unclear when the lanes would reopen.

<![CDATA[Woman Seriously Injured in Pacoima Shooting]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 03:23:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/siren3.jpg

A woman was seriously injured Thursday night during a shooting in Pacoima, police said.

The shooting was reported around 9 p.m. near the intersection of Telfair Avenue and Mercer Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The victim was transported to a hospital where she was in intensive care. Her condition was unknown, according to the LAPD.

Police did not have a description or information about the shooter.

<![CDATA[Watch Live: NBC4 News]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 19:10:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc4-generic-open-nbcla.jpg

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We've launched our online livestreaming player so that you can follow along with our reporters and anchors during NBC4's on-air broadcasts.

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Our anchors and reporters can be found on social media here.

And as always, we want to hear from you. If you have a story idea or feedback, email us at tips@nbcla.com.

<![CDATA[Unborn Child Killed in South LA Double Murder]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 00:02:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/10-1-15-Babdy.JPG

It's been five years since "Baby Girl Garcia," as LAPD calls her, died. And to date, the man who pulled the trigger and ended her life before it even started, remains on the run.

Baby Garcia died as a result of a shooting in Watts that also killed a 45-year-old man sitting on his porch.

"I thank Jehovah so many times before my son left here, my son knew he was loved," Loraine Reeves says as she thinks back to that August day in 2010. Even now she refers to her son, Ronald Reeves, like he's just a boy. But the man, "Ron Ron" stood six-foot-five and weighed 280 pounds. His mother believes he was trying to help when those shots rang out near 97th and Holmes.

"He was sitting on the porch, minding his own business," Reeves says, trying to control her emotions, "I heard this rapid sound - pop pop pop pop pop! I started screaming come in the house!"

LAPD South Bureau's elite Criminal Gang Homicide Division has been investigating the case since the day it happened. Five years later, it's considered a "cold case," and Detective Michael Levant is at the helm.

"Trying to investigate murders in this neighborhood is trying to overcome the reluctance of snitching and to build trust with people that we're here for them," Det. Levant says, "and we're going to see it through throughout the entire investigation."

Levant says the 19-year-old pregnant woman was with a friend in the street talking, when they noticed a suspicious car approach. They happened to be standing outside Reeves' home.

"As they were waiting outside, a male approached them and engaged them in conversation," he says, "and as they were standing there talking, they saw a car pass by a couple times with its lights off."

Levant says when the car stopped, one man exited with a high-powered weapon and started shooting.

"The girls ran to the house," he says, "hit by gunfire as well as the man on the porch."

In the head, 4 people had been shot: Ronald Reeves died, the pregnant woman lost her baby because of the amount of blood loss, and two others had minor wounds.

"When all the bullets stopped flying," recalled Ms. Reeves, "that little girl, she was shot in the back. She started screaming my baby! My baby!"

It was that moment when Reeves says she looked down and saw her son.

"And I asked him the dumbest question in the whole wide world. I said, what are you doin' down there? He said, I'm hit Momma."

Police soon arrived and took her son away. Reeves remembers the moment he was pronounced dead.

"At 1:40, that was it. Just like that. He was gone," she says.

Det. Levant says because of the gang mentality in this part of Watts, the young woman who lost her baby has been uncooperative with the investigation, including declining to be interviewed for this report. He chalks it up to fear of retaliation.

"They feel like if they talk to the police, that's a bad thing to do and they may be retaliated against for doing so," he says, "By that mentality, the street mentality, it's one of the worst things you can do, is be a snitch. To even tell her story about what happened to her including the loss of her baby, the snitching component overrides everything."

And yet investigators press on. Reeves is thankful for that.

"I bet you there's somebody that knows him," she says of the shooter, "And if I had a friend that did something like that, I don't care if it was my son, I would tell somebody."

Investigators are hoping for someone to come forward with information. They've set up a special hotline to reach them directly at 323-786-5110. Any tips can be submitted anonymously.

<![CDATA[PM Forecast: Warming Up]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 21:50:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/PM_Forecast_Warming_Up_1200x675_536905795801.jpg Temperatures will continue to rise until a slight cooling trend Sunday. Shanna Mendiola reports for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2015.]]> <![CDATA[Portrait of Oregon Gunman Emerges; Family 'Shocked']]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 20:41:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10.01.15-chris-harper-mercer.jpg

Family members of the man who went on a deadly shooting rampage at a rural Oregon college told NBC4 that they were in shock and were still trying to understand why he resorted to violence.

The gunman, identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, opened fire inside a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon Thursday, killing at least nine people before dying in a shootout with police, authorities said. One survivor said he demanded his victims state their religion before he started shooting.

"I don't know what to say," one family member said in an interview Thursday night from Tarzana, in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. "I'm shaking right now. He was a nice guy. He put everyone before himself. It doesn't sound right because he wanted everyone to be happy."

His father, Ian Mercer, told reporters gathered outside his Tarzana home where he and his wife live, that he was "just as shocked as anybody else," but declined to answer questions.

Mercer's family asked for privacy as they dealt with the tragedy.

Former neighbors of the shooter who used to live in Torrance, about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, said they instantly recognized him from the photo he posted on social media posing with a weapon.

"Yeah, that's him," Derrick McClendon said. "Stayed in number 9, him and his mom."

They recall Mercer and his mom shared a downstairs unit, then moved to Oregon about four years ago.

"Everyday I'd come home from school," Bryan Clay said. "I'd see Chris, shaved head, combat boots, camo pants and a plain brown or white shirt. He kept to himself, really didn't say much.

"He would really just walk really fast, avoid anybody who came toward him."

Those who remember him said Mercer was mild-mannered and not known to own guns.

"It's just sad to see that people just go out and kill people for no reason," Paul Rogers said.

For much of his youth, Mercer lived with his parents in Tarzana.  

"He was just a kid who to me was a little shy ... a little stunted socially," said Eileen Sandlin, whose husband tutored Mercer in science.  

Sandlin recalled a conversation with Mercer after an earlier mass killing shooting rampage, and the then-teen found it "horrifying ... he was like, yeah, he can't imagine going to school and having that happen."

After the divorce of Mercer's parents a decade ago, he stayed with his mother in the South Bay.

Army records show he enlisted in 2008, and was sent to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for basic training, but five weeks in was discharged for failing to meet minimum standards.

The Daily Breeze reported that the Mercer graduated from Switzer Learning Center in Torrance in 2009. The newspaper cited records indicating that he lived with his mother in a ground-floor apartment in Torrance from 2011 to 2013.

Mercer also was a student at El Camino College from 2010 to 2012. No incidents were registered with police during that time, school police said.

An online search of the suspect's name points to a MySpace account referencing Torrance and bearing a photo of a man with a shaved head, with what appears to be the barrel of a rifle visible alongside him.

Elsewhere on the account are images of masked gunmen and praise for the Irish Republican Army, the outlawed paramilitary group committed to overthrowing Northern Ireland and its links with Britain.

An online search using the terms "Chris Mercer Torrance" turns up a whitepages.com entry for Chris Harper-Mercer, showing a cellphone number with a 310 area code and a landline number with a 541 area code, which covers most of Oregon.

It also listed an address for an apartment in Winchester, Oregon, which is about four miles north of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, where the shooting took place about 10:30 a.m.

A neighbor in Oregon, Bronte Harte, told The Associated Press that Mercer "seemed really unfriendly" and would "sit by himself in the dark in the balcony with this little light."

Harte said a woman she believed to be Mercer's mother also lived upstairs and was "crying her eyes out" Thursday.

The suspect was killed when police engaged him in a shootout, but it was unclear if he was fatally wounded by officers.

The shooting left seven other people wounded, according to authorities.

Authorities shed no light on his motive and said they were investigating.

Annette Arreola, Jorge Diaz, Kate Larsen, Patrick Healy and NBC4 wire services contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Undocumented Student Body President Hopes to Be Paid]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 21:17:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/10-1-15-ASB_President.JPG

Cal State Long Beach's student body president is also undocumented.

The elected role is a paid position, but not for Jose Salazar because of his immigration status.

Salazar spends a lot of time at CSULB's Dream Center, a resource center for the undocumented.

He also spends a lot of time in his office at the college as student body president.

"Even if you have the most odds against you, if you work hard enough you can achieve whatever you want," Salazar said.

Salazar is the first undocumented student to be elected into the role. While he didn't need a social security number to run for office, he needs one now to get paid for his position.

"It's been quite a challenge," Salazar said.

Salazar's tuition is waived, perks that come with the president position.

His undocumented status prevents him from receiving a $1,200 a month fellowship payment.

He is urging the school to change the policy because he said his livelihood depends on it.

"Now that school started it's very hard for me to make any form of income because of this job and I have school," he said. "I'm not going to use it myself. I'm going to use it to help out my family."

Salazar came to the United States when he was 8 years old. He's petitioned for deferred status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an immigration policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. But it could be several months before he gets an answer.

The school, meanwhile, is reaching out to lawmakers, encouraging them to push Salazar's petition through.

"He is working very hard in making sure he's successful in that role," said Jane Conoley, the CSULB president. "We don't want anything to be a distraction. We want him to graduate. We want him to get everything he can out of the leadership role that he's in."

Salazar knows not everyone agrees he should be treated equally. His journey did not come without controversy.

He knows a policy change may not come until well after he has graduated, but he said this campaign is not just for him.

"If no one wants to have the courage to stand up for a community, we're not going to make any type of progress," he said.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Gang Member Arrested in Fatal Stabbing]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 17:40:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/186*120/lake_balboa_stabbing.PNG

A 34-year-old gang member who was seen riding the same bicycle as one in a surveillance video the night of a fatal stabbing of a homeless man in Lake Balboa was arrested on murder charges, police said Thursday.

Anthony Valdez was booked into jail on murder charges in the stabbing of Jari Tapani Wayne, 31, who died Tuesday near Vanowen Street and Woodley Avenue, according to a Los Angeles Police Deparment news release.

"Initially, Valdez had come forward as our only witness to the stabbing that morning," said LAPD Capt. Paul Vernon. "He gave us a story of seeing Wayne approach a car in the street, from which someone stabbed the man, but video from a nearby business later told a different story."

The video showed Valdez's initial story as a witness was a ruse, and the two men, Valdez and Wayne, who police said had prior confrontations, had face-to-face contact near a laundromat, Vernon said.

"There appeared to be a confrontation between the two men, and Valdez stabbed Wayne, who staggered away and died," Vernon said.

Gang officers identified Valdez from the video as a local gang member nicknamed "Monster."

The gang officers drove back to the crime scene around 5 p.m. Wednesday and saw Valdez with the same bicycle he was seen with in the laundromat video, police said.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Father Accused of Murder Previously Investigated For Abuse]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 16:43:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/09-10-2015-boys-fuentes-stabbing-south-la.JPG

The man accused of stabbing his three sons to death inside an SUV parked in South LA last month had previously been investigated for reports he was abusing the children, according to newly released documents.

According to the redacted file released Thursday afternoon, Luiz Fuentes, 33, had been investigated several times going back to 2008 for allegations of physical and emotional abuse as well as general neglect.

The Department of Children and Family Services investigated the allegations, but the findings were inconclusive.

At one point in the report, the allegations were deemed “aggressive” and that the situation was high-risk.

It also references potential emotional abuse against one of the three boys by a stepmother.

The boys were previously identified as Luis Alfanso Fuentes, 10, Juan Daniel Fuentes, 9, and Alexander Fuentes, 8.

The three boys were found dead in the back seat, while the father was found bloodied and suffering from stab wounds, police said.

Luiz Fuentes has been charged with three counts of murder that include the special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders, making him eligible for a possible death sentence, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek death.

The biological mother of the boys is believed to have died previously, and that their father was their primary caregiver.

Family members said soon after the stabbings that they were shocked to learn from police that the father allegedly killed his sons.

"He loved his kids and it's hard for me to see him do something like this. It's unbelievable. I don't know what drove him to do something like this," said Rene Chanquin, the father's cousin.

Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Power Restored to Huntington Beach Customers]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 14:31:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/grackles+on+power+line.jpg

Power is out for more than 22,000 customers in Huntington Beach for more than an hour Thursday afternoon, according to Southern California Edison.

Crews were able to restore the power by 2:30 p.m.

No specific cause of the outage was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Swarm of Bees Attack Two in Costa Mesa]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 20:59:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/bees7.jpg


Two people were treated after being stung by a swarm of bees found under a roof in Costa Mesa Thursday.


Bee experts said what they uncovered at the home on Laird Place are feral bees, not the kind you want to have around. They said the vibration of someone working nearby is enough to set them off.

Witnesses said the roofers working on this home got the worst of it. They ran but could not get away.

“Everybody else was just swinging their arms at their heads and faces and I came out and said ‘What's the matter?’ and he said ‘Bees’ and I looked and said ‘Oh boy,’” said neighbor Dick Riha.

Firefighters said one roofer was stung 50 times. A 78-year old neighbor was also stung around the neck. Both were sent to the hospital.

Nearby construction crews watched in shock, grateful they were across the street.

“Lucky us that we was kind of far away from there,” said Ricky Gaytan.

Experts estimate tens of thousands of bees had colonized in the crawl space of the home. They had likely been there two years.

“They had hives on the roof always swarming,” said neighbor Helen O’Reiley.

Experts also said they believe these are Africanized bees, not the type needed for agriculture.

They said any homeowner can tell when bees are becoming a problem.

“If you've got an active infestation, you've got a constant flow, in and out like a freeway, so it's hard to miss,” said Jeremy Bruce of Bee Busters.

Firefighters sprayed foam on the roof. They said it weighs the bees down so they can no longer move. Water didn't faze them.

According to experts, bee stings are rarely fatal, and that while it may be uncomfortable, humans can take up to around 500 stings before there are serious medical concerns.

Photo Credit: Costa Mesa Fire Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Man Convicted of Murder in Hollywood Body Parts Case]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 21:43:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/10-01-2015-campos-martinez-hollywood-griffith-park-body-parts.JPG

A man accused of killing and dismembering his live-in boyfriend, whose head and body parts were found off a hiking trail in Griffith Park, was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder.

Gabriel Campos-Martinez, 40, is facing 25 years to life in prison for the killing of 66-year-old Herve Medellin, whose head was found in the park in January 2012. Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 16.

Some of the victim's remains were found by two women who were walking dogs on a trail just below the Hollywood sign. More body parts were discovered in the popular hiking area by law enforcement search dogs.

Medellin's hands, feet and head were found wrapped in plastic, according to Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace.

"That same type of plastic was found in that victims residence," Grace said.

Search terms found on a computer found in the place where both men lived were also critical to the jury's decision.

"How to dismember a human carcass for human consumption," Grace said.

Prosecutors believe Martinez strangled the victim just after Christmas 2011 and dumped his body parts following a visit by police asking about Medellin's whereabouts. No new evidence surfaced from the time the remains were discovered in 2012 and Martinez's arrest in Texas two years later until right in the middle of the trial.

"We found new evidence," Grace said. "We found tissue specimens that had been buried in the mouth of Bronson Canyon Cave, which people familiar with that know the popular TV series 'Batman' was filmed."

The body parts weren't decomposed, leading prosecutors to believe Martinez refrigerated or somehow stored the remains.

He married a woman in Texas when he was arrested. A woman was in court Thursday and Martinez kept looking at her, but she would not confirm her identity.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Children Get Shoes, Supplies at Giveaway on Skid Row ]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 13:44:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/174*120/shoes10.JPG

More than 4,000 underprivileged children received new athletic shoes, clothing and backpacks filled with school supplies as part of annual school giveaway on Skid Row Thursday.

Some children camped out overnight to receive the free gifts as well as free haircuts and meals from In-N-Out Burger at Fred Jordan Missions' 27th annual "Caring For Kids'' back-to-school giveaway event.

"My parents don't have to waste money to get us new shoes when we can get them here for free," said Elena Tomas, 17.

"I'm gonna be honest: the shoes really made my day," 11th grader Antanyce White said.

The event also feature a red carpet fashion show with kids sporting their new shoes and clothing.

"Last year we had a little boy and he smelled his shoes and the said that they smelled new," Willie Jordan, president of the Fred Jordan Missions said. "Most of these kids have never had new shoes that were theirs."

The event was a collaboration between the mission, Foot Locker, In-n-Out Burger and Paul Mitchell.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>