PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica police officers have three men in custody for the gang-related murder of 29-year-old Gil Verastegui, who was shot along with another man while standing in an alley near the corner of 16th Street and Michigan Avenue on Tuesday morning.
Police said Christopher Chonan Osumi, 19, and Meliton Lorenzo Lopez, 23, both of Los Angeles, tried to flee on foot before they were arrested Tuesday in the 1500 block of Armacost Avenue in West Los Angeles, an area that is known to be the turf of the Latino street gang Sotel.
The two have been booked for murder, attempted murder and being involved in a criminal street gang. Bail for both was set at just over $1 million.
During a search of a residence, police said they found a handgun believed to have been used in the shooting.
A third suspect, identified by police as Noah Jason Farris, 32, of Los Angeles, was also arrested at a nearby apartment. He has been booked for accessory to a felony crime, participating in a criminal street gang and violation of his early release from prison. No bail was set.
Verastegui, whom police said was a local gang member, and another man were in the alley to the rear of 1759 15th St. around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday when Osumi and Lopez allegedly pulled up in a car and one of them got out and opened fire. Both victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds and were transported to a local trauma center for treatment, where Verastegui later succumbed to his injuries.
The second victim remains in critical condition at a local hospital, police said.
Witness accounts helped detectives identify the suspects, police said.
Anyone with additional information about the shooting is urged to contact the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8495.
If you wish to remain anonymous, call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME (1-800-78-27463) or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.
Callers can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS, texting from a cell phone or by visiting their website at www.lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000 reward by Crime Stoppers.