By Lookout Staff
November 5, 2009 -- Police have arrested four suspects in the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Santa Monica man Tuesday night.
According to police, Richard Juarez, a graduate of Olympic High School, was shot at approximately 8:52 p.m. in Virginia Park, a crime prone corner of the Pico Neighborhood.
Juarez was one of four individuals who were in the park when two suspects walked towards them from Pico Boulevard and began shooting, police said.
"Three of the four individuals ran and were able to avoid being struck by gunfire," said Sgt. Dave Hunscke, a Police Department spokesman.
Juarez received a fatal gunshot wound. Santa Monica Fire Department paramedics were called to the scene, but the victim was dead when they arrived.
"A police sergeant was driving in the area of the 2100 block of Pico Boulevard when he heard the shots," Hunscke said. "He saw two possible suspects running from the park area, toward a vehicle occupied by two other males.
"The sergeant drove behind the vehicle and the two suspects on foot continued running south onto 22nd Street and out of sight," he said.
Police detained the vehicle and its occupants and established a perimeter was established to contain the two suspects who fled on foot, Hunscke said.
Police found one of the suspects hiding under a van behind a residence during a K9 search, he said. K9 and SWAT officers found the second suspect hiding in the rear yard of a vacant home.
A total of four suspects, two who were in the car and the two who fled on foot, were taken into custody and booked at the Santa Monica Police Department.
This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information should call the Santa Monica Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 310.458.8451 or the Watch Commander at 310.458.8427 (24 hours).
Those wishing to remain anonymous can call We Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-78-27463).