2 charged with murder in connection to Whittier, La Mirada shooting spree

- A man and woman who had been regarded as "persons of interest'' in a weekend shooting spree in the Whittier and La Mirada areas were charged Thursday with murder and other counts stemming from the shootings, in which one man was killed and three other people were injured.

Alejandro Lazo, 21, and Reyna Gomez, 26 -- both alleged gang members who were themselves shot -- allegedly passed a handgun between them and took turns shooting at "innocent victims,'' according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The two were arrested Saturday night after being found wounded outside a Santa Fe Springs motel, but it was unclear who shot the couple.

Lazo, who was on parole, and Gomez were each charged with one count each of murder and carjacking, along with 14 counts of attempted murder.

Gomez is also charged with one count of torture.

The charges include gang and gun allegations.

The duo had been released from prison in November. Lazo had been convicted of extortion and assault and Gomez for auto theft and receiving stolen property, officials said.

The crime spree began shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday when a pedestrian was shot in a leg in the 10000 block of Carmenita Road in an unincorporated area of Whittier by a pair of male and female suspects in a white Kia Rio, according to the sheriff's department.

The two then allegedly carjacked a green Nissan Pathfinder at gunpoint in the 11100 block of Rosehedge Drive in Pico Rivera.

Another pedestrian was shot in the groin about 3:35 p.m. that day in the 14900 block of Whittier Boulevard in Whittier by one of the Pathfinder's occupants, according to the sheriff's department.

Authorities received reports of shots fired at two motorists six minutes later in the 10200 block of Colima Road in Whittier, but no one was injured, authorities said.

Lazo and Gomez allegedly then proceeded southeast in the Pathfinder to the intersection of Imperial Highway and La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, where a third person was shot in an arm, according to the sheriff's department.

Sheriff's deputies responding to that shooting quickly learned of another shooting at Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road in La Mirada, which claimed the life of Jose Sahagun, 44, of Norwalk, authorities said.

Sahagun was shot multiple times as he sat in his vehicle while waiting at a traffic light, according to the sheriff's department.   

Sahagun was a social worker who formerly worked as a teacher and leaves behind a wife and two sons, one 4 and the other 7, officials and his family members said.

The carjacked Pathfinder was subsequently found around 6:30 p.m. that day in the parking lot of Amelia Mayberry Park, at Painter Avenue and Lakeland Road in unincorporated South Whittier.

Authorities determined that Lazo and Gomez -- who were found injured in the 15000 block of Carmenita Road in Santa Fe Springs following a 911 call at 8 p.m. that day of two victims suffering gunshot wounds -- matched the description of the suspects involved in the earlier shootings, but they did not immediately link the couple to the crime spree.  

It was not immediately clear when they would appear in a courtroom in Downey for arraignment.

The pair face a maximum of life in prison if convicted as charged.

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