Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles police released two sketches in July of the same man who shot and killed a driver in what they described as a road rage incident in Arleta. Authorities are now searching for suspect Luis Alberto Gutierrez, Jr., they said on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013.
Police have identified a 24-year-old gang member they believe shot and killed a man in a road rage incident in Arleta back in July, officials said.
Authorities said tips helped identify Luis Alberto Gutierrez, Jr. as the suspect in the July 13 shooting that left 22-year-old North Hollywood resident Richard Ruiz dead, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
"We received a number of tips in this case, but it was one from Gutierrez's employer that broke the case open," said Lt. Paul Vernon of the Mission Detective Division in a statement. "But as soon as we started inquiring about Gutierrez, he abandoned his job and has been on the run ever since.”
Ruiz was driving a red Kia with two passengers under the 5 Freeway on Branford Street when he was shot. He died hours later at a hospital.
Witnesses in Ruiz's vehicle said the suspect had green eyes. Authorities said that tip helped lead them to Gutierrez.
Police said an employee where Gutierrez worked noticed that the suspect was acting distant in the days following the shooting, and that he drove the same model gray Challenger described by police as the suspect vehicle. The employee told police that Gutierrez also began changing his appearance in the days after the shooting.
When authorities visited the North Hollywood business, Gutierrez walked off his job and never returned, officials said. His Challenger was found abandoned in Montebello a few weeks later.
“We impounded the car and sent notices to the owner, but he's never appeared to claim his car back," Vernon said.
Police said Gutierrez has been on the run since August and has missed appointments with his probation officer. Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant connecting him to the murder, officials said.
Police believe that Gutierrez is going back and forth to Mexico, authorities said.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Los Angeles Police Detective Ryan Verna at (818) 838-9976, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.