Eight men have been arrested in connection with a spate of shootings in Pasadena in December and January that left three people dead and three others wounded.
The eight suspects, according to information released at a press conference held Tuesday at the Pasadena Police Department, were identified as: Anthony Edwards, 26; Marquise Turner, 29; Isaiah Daniels, 24; Pernell Barnes, 20; Charod Robinson, 28; Derion Lee, 34; Andrew Vasquez, 27; and John Robinson, 48.
All eight men, who are residents of Duarte, were arrested in connection with the murders of Brandon Douglas, Antoine Sutphen Jr. and Ormani Duncan.
John Wesley Robinson was charged as a suspect after the fact.
Edwards and Turner were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.
Daniels, Barnes, Charod Robinson (no relation to John) and Vasquez were charged with the murders of Sutphen and Duncan.
So far, no one has been charged in Douglas’ murder.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has also filed multiple counts of shooting into an inhabited dwelling and gang allegations against the eight suspects.
“We have removed eight predatory gang members with a propensity for violence from the streets,” Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said at Tuesday’s press conference. “They showed a complete disregard for the community and the people they intended to kill.”
The shootings — which Pasadena police say stemmed from a feud between an alliance of Crip street gang factions in Altadena and Duarte and Blood gang members in Pasadena — began when Douglas was shot and killed on Dec. 22 on Claremont Street in Northwest Pasadena.
The eight men arrested are all part of a Duarte gang, police said. Police said more arrests could be made in relation to the various cases.
“The investigation is continuing,” Sanchez said. “We expect to know more about it as we prepare for court, but this underscores what I have been saying; if you commit violent crimes in our city, we will find you.”
Despite the arrests, Sanchez was cautious about declaring any victories.
“We put a significant dent in the Duarte gang, but I would say the gang still exists,” Sanchez said.
Since the death of Douglas, the department’s violence reduction task force has seized 42 weapons and arrested 24 people who are now facing a litany of gun- and violence-related charges.
Sanchez said that even though no gang members were arrested in Pasadena, the investigation did have a local impact.
“While we were investigating the crime, we were also mitigating gangs and violence in Pasadena,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez credited the arrests to the department’s relationship with local community members.
“This case underscores the dedication, talents and investigative experience of our homicide unit, which was supported by forensics specialists, patrol officers and other law enforcement partners,” Sanchez said. “I cannot emphasize enough just how difficult this particular case was and how proud I am of the work this team accomplished in apprehending the suspects responsible for the shootings.”
According to Sanchez, the case began to fall into place after police began receiving tips from the public about the shootings.
“The preliminary evidence suggested the Duarte street gang may have been responsible for the murders and attempted murders in our community; nevertheless, PPD detectives considered every lead, no matter how minor,” Sanchez said in a prepared statement.
In the first shooting, Douglas’ bullet-riddled body was found in the 1200 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue. No witnesses came forward after that incident.
Just more than two weeks later, a mass shooting occurred at a vigil for Douglas on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7 which left two people dead, three others wounded and multiple crime scenes scattered across the city.
On Jan. 6, Sutphen Jr. and Duncan, both 24, were fatally shot in a drive-by shooting on Claremont Street, near Fair Oaks Avenue, shortly after 11:30 p.m., close to the location where Douglas was killed.
Two others — an unidentified woman and man — were wounded in that attack, the woman critically. The man suffered a not life-threatening injury.
In that shooting, the wounded woman sought help at a nearby city fire station.
Another unidentified woman tried to drive Duncan and the wounded man to Huntington Hospital in the southern part of the city, but the driver crashed at the corner of California Boulevard and St. John Avenue, near the facility. Duncan died while in the car.
In the second shooting, which happened at about 5 p.m. on Jan. 7 near the same candlelight street memorial for Douglas, an unidentified 37-year-old Pasadena man was shot in the thigh. That victim was treated at Huntington Hospital and later released.
Two weeks later, shots rang out in the early morning hours less than a mile away on Garfield Avenue near Ashtabula Street when a suspect in a light-colored vehicle opened fire on a group of women who were standing near a parked car.
An 18-year-old woman was shot once in the hand and suffered cuts to the back of her head from flying glass emanating from the car window that the bullet passed through. A second woman was also injured by flying glass, authorities said.
The shootings gripped the city and led to discussions among political candidates during the election season about hiring more police officers.
But while politicians were talking about solutions, the Police Department was working the case through anonymous tips, sketches and leads acquired at the crime scene through its homicide unit and violence reduction task force.
The shootings led to a crackdown on guns in Pasadena. Forty-nine guns were taken off the streets in 70 days, including assault rifles and high-capacity weapons.
Arrested in four separate incidents on various gun possession charges were: Doncell Hannah, 23, Michael Robertson, 31, Richard Isham, 31, all of Pasadena; Richard Toney, 26, of Duarte; Marcet Mormon, 32, and Kaquann Offutt, 27, both of Pasadena; and Randy Broadmax 29, Marvin Evans, 30, Derek Brown, 31, and Dwayne Evans, 32, all of Pasadena.
All of those men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On Tuesday, authorities said none of those men were charged with crimes connected to the shootings and their respective cases are wending their way through the court system.