Two suspects were identified Tuesday in a random shooting attack at a Montecito Heights homeless encampment that left a 34-year-old man dead, and another wounded.
The victim’s heartbroken family members, present at the announcement, said they don’t know why someone would kill Daniel Duarte. Police are calling his murder a random, gang motivated attack.
They announced the two arrests off the 110 Freeway at Avenue 52, near the murder scene.
His family stood by as police announced the arrests of the 19 and 31-year-old murder suspects. Andrew Palacios, 19, was arrested on Feb. 2. The investigation led to the arrest of Jimmy Perez, 31, on March 15.
Duarte’s younger sister says her brother didn’t even have a chance to fight back against his killers.
The shooting happened Jan. 21 around 4:30 in the morning. When police responded to the homeless encampment near the freeway, they found the surviving victim, 34-year-old Douglas Garido, also shot.
He was screaming for help.
He pointed to a tent – where police found Duarte – shot in the neck.
“He was artistic, intelligent and that was all wasted because he was murdered,” Kimberly Duarte, the victim’s sister, said. “He does have a daughter. She’s only 2 years old. She deserves to know her father but now she doesn’t have that opportunity anymore.”
The victim’s girlfriend also spoke out after police announced the suspects’ name.
“He was a good guy that fell under some hard times in his life. But he was a very smart person,” Patrisha Venegas said.
Both suspects face murder and attempted murder charges.
The victims are not affiliated with gangs, but police said both suspects are connected to gangs in North Los Angeles.
Both men remain in custody on $2 million bail each.