Sheriff’s investigating series of deadly gang-related shootings in Norwalk

L.A. County Sheriff's deputies pronounced 47-year-old Michael Pina dead at the scene following an early morning shooting on Horst Avenue.     Photo | Raul Samaniego

L.A. County Sheriff's deputies pronounced 47-year-old Michael Pina dead at the scene following an early morning shooting on Horst Avenue.    Photo | Raul Samaniego

By Raul Samaniego and Christian Brown

NORWALK – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has identified the man killed in an apparent gang shooting while driving his car in Norwalk early Wednesday morning.

Michael Pina, 47, of Norwalk was pronounced dead at scene of the shooting, which deputies say occurred at 3:45 a.m. on the 16500 block of Horst Avenue.

Sheriff’s Homicide Detective Joe Mendoza said Pina was driving northbound in a black Volvo sedan when he was struck in his torso by multiple gunshots.

Pina’s car came to rest at the intersection of Horst Avenue and 165th Street.

Mendoza was it is unknown whether the suspect was on foot or in a vehicle.

On Wednesday morning, new Norwalk Sheriff’s Station Captain James Tatreau said “from all indications, it appears that this too was not a random shooting.”

Tatreau said the homicide investigators are looking into the case as well as other recent shootings, including last week’s murder of charity worker Matthew Glover. 

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

As Sheriff’s detectives investigate this most recent gang shooting, the department announced on Thursday that a man and woman were arrested as “persons of interesting connection with the Whittier-La Mirada shooting spree that left one Norwalk man dead last Saturday.

Alejandro Lazo, 21, and Reyna Gomez, 26, were arrested Saturday night by Whittier police in connection with a shooting at a Whittier-area hotel. Authorities at the time were unsure if they were linked to the earlier shootings.

The Whittier-La Mirada crime spree began with a carjacking about 2:15 p.m. last Saturday in Pico Rivera. By 4 p.m., Jose Sahagun, 33, of Norwalk, was shot at Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road in La Mirada. 

He was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he died at 4:51 p.m. Saturday, according to the Orange County coroner’s office.

Additional shootings were reported in various locations in the area, with at least two other people injured, authorities said. Another shooting was reported around 8 p.m. in Santa Fe Springs. 

Around 8:30 p.m., Whittier police responded to a report of a shooting at an area hotel and they arrested Lazo and Gomez in an allegedly stolen vehicle, authorities said. It was unclear if anyone was wounded in that shooting.

Sheriff’s officials said at the time that Lazo and Gomez matched the description of the suspects in the earlier shootings, but they did not immediately link the couple to the crime spree.