LOS ANGELES (FOX 11) - Just one hour before an off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriffs deputy was fatally shot by a gunman at an Alhambra Jack in the Box, a Russian snowboarding champion was gunned down in downtown L.A. by the same shooter, police say.
30-year-old Dmitry Koltsov died on June 10 just one hour before LASD Deputy Joe Solano was fatally shot. Both men allegedly killed by the same gunman -- a Utah man named Rhett Nelson.
Koltsov was shot near the 1900 block of E. 7th Place while he was sitting in a car with two friends.
“The shooter rolled up in his car with a gun, they all panicked, the other two guys were able to get out of the car and flee but since he was in the drivers seat he was kinda stuck, and then the guy just opened fire and took off,” said Stephen Carballo, one of Koltsov’s close friends.
Carballo told FOX 11 that Koltsov had been sending money back to his mom in Russia to help with her finances. He was killed on her birthday, just after speaking to her on the phone, like the loving son he was.
“It’s just super, super sad. She hears from him a few hours before, and then gets a call from friends that this tragedy happened,” Carballo said.
Koltsov’s family in Russia still has not been able to get his remains or hold funeral services for him. His friends have launched a GoFundMe Page to help make that happen. https://www.gofundme.com/f/helpkopchik
Nelson has been charged with both murders. He will be in court again on July 22.