WEST COVINA, Calif. - Two additional arrests have been made in connection with the murder of Karan Singh, a liquor store employee who tragically lost his life in October while attempting to thwart a robbery in West Covina.
According to authorities, 19-year-old Arturo Ornelas of Monterey Park and 18-year-old Ivan Ventura Vanegas of Alhambra were arrested recently for their alleged involvement in Singh's murder. Both have been booked for murder, robbery, accessory to a crime, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Officials said Ornelas was released on bond and Vanegas is being held with no bail.
Four days after Singh's death, a 17-year-old was arrested in connection with his homicide. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office swiftly filed charges for first-degree murder against the teen, who is from East Los Angeles. His name was not released because he is a minor.
Detectives believe all three suspects are from the same criminal street gang, which was not named.
- Employee killed trying to prevent liquor store robbery in West Covina
- Teen arrested in murder of liquor store employee who died trying to prevent robbery in West Covina
Singh was fatally shot on October 8, while he was working as a clerk at Big Bob's Liquor & Market. Police said that two males entered the store and stole merchandise. Trying to protect the store, Singh confronted the suspects, and that's when the shooting occurred.
Family told FOX 11 that Singh was the store owner's brother-in-law, and he had been in the U.S. for less than a year, coming from India. He was saving up to bring his wife and 12-year-old son here. Customers explained that the owner does this with family and friends — gives them jobs when they first get here, until they get comfortable with their English, get all their immigration papers in order, and get established and comfortable with the community.
Singh had just started working at the register after a few months of working in the stockroom. Customers said he was eager and friendly, "like they all are."
The owner himself worked at the store as a clerk when he first arrived in the U.S. in the ‘90s. He saved enough to buy the store in 2006, and helped many other friends and family from India get their first job here. He said there haven't been any serious incidents at the store, until recently, as crime in Southern California, particularly smash-and-grabs, have hit the news.