Los Angeles

‘A Beautiful Spirit': Here Are the Victims of the San Fernando Valley Shooting Rampage

A 26-year-old man is accused of killing two family members and a woman who was ambushed at her job before gunning down a man on a bus

Four victims killed in Thursday's shooting rampage in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley have been identified by the coroner's office.

The victims, including the suspect's father and brother, were shot and killed in a nearly 13-hour crime spree that began in Canoga Park early Thursday morning at the family's apartment. It ended Thursday afternoon with the arrest of a 26-year-old man who was the subject of a widespread police search.

The following victims have been identified by the coroner's office:

Carlos I. Zaragoza, 56

The father of the suspect was shot and killed at his apartment in Canoga Park. Police found his body after responding to the residence at about 2 a.m. His wife had suffered a gunshot wound to the arm.

Michael Ramia said Zaragoza's father, Carlos Zaragoza, had worked for him for 12 years as a carpet cleaning technician. He described the elder Zaragoza as "a guy with no enemies, very outgoing."

"The nicest guy you'd want to be around," he said.

Family
Carlos Zaragoza, 50, was allegedly fatally shot by his son Gerry Zaragoza on Thursday, July 25, 2019. Police also suspect Zaragoza in the killing of his brother and shooting of his mother.

Carlos Pierre Zaragoza, 33

Carlos Pierre Zaragoza, the suspect's brother, also was found dead early Thursday in the Canoga Park apartment.

"He had such a beautiful spirit," said Jason Zepeda, the victim's friend, at a vigil. 

Jason Zepeda
Carlos Zaragoza, 33, was killed Thursday July 25, 2019 in one of four fatal shootings in the San Fernando Valley allegedly carried out by his brother.

Azucena Lepe, 45

About an hour after the Canoga Park slayings, the shooter opened fire on two people at a gas station in North Hollywood. Lepe, identified by family members as an acquaintance of the suspect, later died at a hospital.

Family members said she is a mother of four ranging in age from 18 to 12. Candles, flowers and other items were left in her memory at the gas station.

"I want to remember her smiles and her laugh," said cousin Sandra Rosales. "She was always happy."

Family members said the suspect stalked and harassed her over the past year.

Family Photo
Azucena Lepe was identified as one of four victims killed by a gunman who opened fire Thursday July 25, 2019 at locations in the San Fernando Valley.

Detwonia Harris, 55

The fourth victim was shot and killed on a Metro bus. Police have said there is no evidence that the suspect knew the victim, 55-year-old Detwonia Harris, of Reseda.

"He didn't even talk to his last victim," LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes, commander of the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division, said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. "He's getting off the bus and he turns and shoots the person. It doesn't look like there was any interaction between them."

Police said they did not know what motivated Gerry Dean Zaragoza as he allegedly attacked family members, his ex-girlfriend and the fourth victim. He also is accused of shooting his mother in the arm and a second individual at the gas station, who is hospitalized in critical condition.

Zaragoza also is suspect in an attempted robbery outside a Canoga Park bank.

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