Crime and Courts

Former Bell Council Member Arrested for Shooting, Killing 81-Year-Old Wife

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An 81-year-old woman was shot and killed at her Bell home and her husband, a former city council member, was being held as a suspect, police said Tuesday.

The victim was positive identified as Donna Harber, 81, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The shooting happened in the home in the 4900 block of Weik Avenue in Bell at 6:58 a.m.

Danny Harber, 76, a former city council member, was taken to a local hospital for medical clearance and was to be held in lieu of $200,000 bail, according to the sheriff's department.

"Upon responding to location, they made contact with a male, white, approximately 75-80 years of age at the location," Lt. Brandon Dean of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

Police confirmed the home belonged to a former council member who served between 2011-2013.

"Such horrible news for the community," said Violeta Alvarez, former Bell City Council Member. "It could not be possible. It could not be possible for someone who always expresses so much love for his wife."


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Alvarez said Danny Harber, former city council member for the city of Bell, lives in this home with his wife, Donna. 

"As former mayor of Bell, I worked with Danny for many years. I know him well. I know his family. It's very sad, very tragic to hear what occurred," said Nestor Valencia, also a former Bell City Council Member.

Nestor Valencia, Danny Harber and Violeta Alvarez were part of the new crop of 2010 Bell city council members who were elected in the wake of the city's corruption scandal. The two men became close friends. 

"I know he had been very saddened and frustrated with the mental health of his wife which includes dementia," Valencia said.

Valencia says he doesn't know if that played a role in what occurred at the Harber home this morning, but he urges anyone caring for a loved one with dementia to seek professional help. 

"Unfortunately in mental health, it's not only the patients that suffer but it's also their immediate family," he said.

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