LOS ANGELES - Los AngeleswalCounty Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are investigating after they say a 63-year-old employee at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut died after being intentionally plowed down by a vehicle.
Deputies responded to Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut around 7:30 a.m. Thursday after receiving multiple calls for service.
When deputies arrived, they located the pedestrian unresponsive on the ground. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
College officials identified the deceased as Ralph Barragan. He began working as a tram driver for Mt. SAC's ACCESS (disabled students program) in July 2007.
"He was responsible for transporting students with disabilities to all parts of the college. Ralph was highly visible on campus, gracious, popular and respected," Mt. SAC president William T. Scroggins said in a statement.
Authorities believe that Ralph Barragan was targetted intentionally when he was plowed down by a vehicle on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
"Everyone knew Ralph. He was always smiling, greeting staff and students by their names, and befriending everyone he met. We are shocked and saddened by his passing. He will be missed, but never forgotten," said Audrey Yamagata-Noji, vice president of Student Services.
Sheriff’s investigators believe Barragan was targeted – saying that it appeared to be an intentional act. On Friday, LASD arrested James Milliken, an ex-employee with Mt. SAC.
Officials did not say if Milliken and Barragan knew each other. The cause and motive of the deadly crash remain under investigation.
"I’m not going to go into the reason why I think it’s intentional it appears that way," Sgt. Guillermo Morales told FOX 11. "I do know the relationship but I’m not going to go into what their relationship is we’re still in the earliest stages of investigation we’ll put out more once we know more."
Classes at the college remained in session and mental health services were being offered to both students and staff, including:
- The Student Health Center offers short-term mental health counseling to current students. Students can call 909 274-4400 and press option 2 or go to one of the clinics in Building 67B or 9E for assistance.
- The Employee Counseling Center provides short-term counseling to Mt. SAC employees. Call 909- 274-6211 or email email@example.com.
- Student Health also put together information about grief and loss as well as tips for coping with trauma as a resource for the campus.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. You can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or visiting lacrimestoppers.org