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LASD - Norwalk Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
Monday August 29th, 2011 :: 01:23 p.m. PDT


Two young men shot to death in Whittier (unincorp). One is a 19-yr old LASD Norwalk Explorer. Suspects in Gray Scion sought.

(See photos by clicking on the hyperlink at the bottom of the message)

Tragedy struck the unincorporated community of Whittier, when two young men were senselessly killed in a drive-by shooting.

One of the men, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Explorer who has volunteered for his community through the Norwalk Sheriff's Station for the past four years, just took the first steps toward realizing his dream of becoming a deputy sheriff. Cesar Rodriguez, 19, was gunned down in front of a home in the 11800 block of Painter Avenue as he was leaving a party. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles County Fire Department rescue personnel.

On Sunday, August 28, at 3:10 A.M., the driver of a gray Scion fired several shots at both victims and fled the location with three other men in the car.

Larry Villegas, a 24-year old area resident was also killed in the shooting.

"It was Cesar's lifelong dream to become a deputy sheriff," said Norwalk Sheriff's Station Capt. Patrick Maxwell. "He was preparing himself to do that and was making the right choices in life."

Rodriguez was a respected member of the Explorer Post at Norwalk Sheriff's Station, and had risen to a leadership position among his peers, including serving as a leader of the Honor Guard.

Deputies and Explorers at the station remember Rodriguez as a good person who continually made the right decisions. He had just submitted his application to become a deputy sheriff a week ago, and everyone expected him to be hired by the Sheriff’s Department and embark on a successful career serving the people of Los Angeles County.

“It’s ironic,” commented Captain Maxwell. “He wants to join the Sheriff’s Department to fight crime and he dies a victim of crime."

Sheriff's Homicide Bureau detectives are continuing their investigation into the deaths of the two men that occurred in the 11800 block of Painter Avenue, Unincorporated Whittier.

Sheriff’s Homicide Detectives are looking for the driver of a gray Scion. According to witnesses, the driver of the vehicle pointed a handgun at the victims and fired multiple times. The suspect vehicle occupied by three or four male Hispanic occupants drove away northbound on Painter Avenue. Both gunshot victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Donations are being accepted on behalf of the family to help pay for the costs of Rodriguez’ funeral. Checks can be made out to "Norwalk Sheriff's Station Explorer Post #1085," 12335 Civic Center Drive, Norwalk, CA 60650.

View TV news video coverage

(Note: These links are provided for your convenience. The LASD does not endorse products or services)

* Sheriff's explorer slain in drive-by shooting in Whittier (ABC-TV 7)

* Mom of explorer killed in drive-by speaks out (ABC-TV 7)

* A mother and family grieves (KCAL-TV 9)

Norwalk Sheriff's Station
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
(562) 863-8711

Forwarded by:
Sgt. Mike Thomas
Captain Mike Parker
Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau – Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
(323) 267-4800
Twitter @LASD_News!/LASD_News

Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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(See photos of Cesar Rodriguez and Larry Villegas by clicking on the hyperlink below)

LASD - Norwalk Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
12335 Civic Center Dr
Norwalk, CA 90650

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 562-863-8711

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