Man Wanted in Assault May Be Connected to Slaying of SoCal Lawmaker’s Father

The man is wanted for assault and may be connected to the death of Joseph Gatto, police said

A man wanted for aggravated assault on a woman in Silver Lake may be connected to the shooting death of a Southern California lawmaker’s father, the Los Angeles Police Department said Tuesday.

The body of Joseph Gatto, 78, was found slumped over in a chair at his ransacked Silver Lake home with a gunshot wound to the stomach on Nov. 13, police said. His daughter found him and called police.

On the evening of Nov. 12, a witness saw a man breaking into a car in the 2300 block of Moreno Drive, according to a community alert by the LAPD. When the woman confronted the man, he pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her, the alert stated.

Police believe that man may be connected Gatto’s death. Gatto is the father of state Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles.

"He was just a tremendous guy," the assemblyman said in an interview outside his late father's home, his voice quavering. "He worked very hard to raise us right."

Gatto was in Sacramento when he received a phone call from his sister regarding his father's death. The politician's sister found her father's body Wednesday night after not hearing from him all day.

The man wanted by police is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, about 180 pounds, 20 to 25 years old wearing a multi-colored hooded sweatshirt and tan pants. He was also seen wearing a tan backpack, armed with a handgun (similar items shown at right).

Anyone with information is asked to call 213-486-6890 or 877-527-3247. People who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or text "TIPLA" followed by a space and the message to CRIMES (274637).

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