Authorities Question Four, Release Three in Downey Shooting Investigation

By Samantha Tata, Nyree Arabian and Stephanie Elam
|  Thursday, Oct 25, 2012  |  Updated 11:32 PM PDT
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Four people have been detained in connection with Wednesday's mass shooting that left three people dead and two wounded, one of them a 13-year old boy. Downey police examined surveillance cameras around the area of the attack to hopefully find more information about the case. Stephanie Elam reports from Downey for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2012.

Stephanie Elam

Four people have been detained in connection with Wednesday's mass shooting that left three people dead and two wounded, one of them a 13-year old boy. Downey police examined surveillance cameras around the area of the attack to hopefully find more information about the case. Stephanie Elam reports from Downey for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2012.

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Investigation Under Way Into Shootings at Downey Home, Family Business

Downey police Lt. Dean Milligan explains what investigators know so far about the shootings that left three people death and two other critically injured in Downey. The incidents happened at a resident and a nearby business. Authorities are searching for the gunman, who they say drove off in a black Camaro. Stephanie Elam and Janet Zappala report from Downey for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2012.
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Four people were detained for questioning Thursday in connection with a shooting rampage that left three people dead and two others critically injured at two locations blocks apart in Downey, according to police.

Three men and a woman were taken in for questioning at the Downey Police Station Thursday afternoon, said Lt. Leslie Murray. Three of them were released; one of the men was still being questioned by investigators late Thursday.

No arrests have been made.

At a news conference Thursday night, police identified the victims in the shooting rampage that rocked a community: Josimar Rojas, 26 of Downey; Irene Cardenas, 35, of Cudahy; Susana Perez-Ruelas, 34, of Downey.

On Wednesday morning, shots rang out in two locations on the same Downey street. The first 911 call came in at 11:12 a.m. from a business in the 8700 block of Cleta Street, according to a police press release. Five minutes later, a 911 call came from a home in the 8500 block of Cleta Street.

"It's believed that the family members own both the business and the residence. I'm still not sure of the relationship between the victims at both locations, but it is believed they all are related," Downey police Lt. Dean Milligan said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

Two people -- a man and a woman -- died at the business, while another woman was killed at the home. A 13-year-old boy, originally listed in critical condition, has been released from the hospital. A woman remained in critical but stable condition Thursday, police said.

A pair of surveillance cameras monitored the business, identified as United States Fire Protection. Investigators on Thursday were pouring over that footage.

A man fled the scene in a 2010 black Chevrolet Camaro, with California license plate 6LEA010. The vehicle, which belonged to one of the victims, was found in Los Angeles, police said.

Police said the victims did not recognize the shooter, adding that the attack did not appear to be random.

In wake of the tragedy, neighbors praised the family which police say was targetted. Neighbors were shocked by the shootings, describing the triple homicide as something "like in a movie. It doesn't feel real."

Michelle Rivas lives across the street from the family and was home when the gunman opened fire, injuring a teenage boy and killing a woman.

"She was pretty. She was young. Very young. I can't believe that happened to her," Rivas said. "Great mother. She was always cooking -- it's just so hard to talk about her cause she's gone."

Rivas said she saw the boy emerge from the home covered in blood.

"...we didn't know he was shot. He was walking around normal," Rivas said. "Not like owww. Nothing. He was just going into shock. He was just telling the cops, 'My mom, my mom.'"

At the family business just a few blocks away, neighbors lit candles at a makeshift memorial.

"They were good people," said Felipe Vargas.

"They were good neighbors, absolutely," said Dean Wright, whose business is next door to the family's. "...It just makes you sick to think those kids will be alone."

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