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Firefighter Killed, Another Injured After Shooting At Agua Dulce Fire Station 81

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Fire Station Shooting Agua Dulce (1)
A Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) Fire Cat dousing flames at the home of the shooter. Photo Courtesy of the LASD SEB

A firefighter was killed by an off-duty fire department member at a fire station in Agua Dulce.

The incident was called in just before 11 a.m. Tuesday on the 8700 block of Sierra Highway at Fire Station 81, according to Leslie Lua, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD). 

“As I stand here, I stand here with a heavy heart. Today is truly a sad day, a tragic day for the Los Angeles County Fire Department,” said Chief Daryl Osby at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “I stand here from the perspective that you see other people do, I just never thought it would be me.”

One firefighter, a 44-year-old male, was declared dead on scene, and one other was injured, according to Osby.

“It is some of the worst news I have heard in my career,” Osby said. “He was a brave, committed, loyal member of our department.”

Copter 22 with L.A. County Fire Air Operations responded to airlift one patient to a local hospital.

The second victim, a fire captain, is in “critical, but stable” condition, Osby said.

The L.A. County Fire Chief confirmed the shooter was an off-duty firefighter, however, the motive remains unknown.

“We all recognize that the work that our firefighters and firefighter-paramedics do is a very dangerous and arduous profession, and in many times, they put their lives in danger to protect them and serve others when they receive 911 calls for service, but yet as a fire chief, I never thought that when our firefighters face danger that they would face that danger in one of our community fire stations,” Osby said.

Lt. Brandon Dean with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau said deputies searched for the suspect, leading to the 2600 block of Bent Spur Drive.

A structure fire broke out at the home, and one person was found dead from a gunshot wound, according to Dean.

The shooter barricaded themselves inside the home and set the structure ablaze, according to Osby.

The identities of the deceased are unknown as of Tuesday, pending notification of next of kin by the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office.

Note: This is a breaking news story, more information will be added as it becomes available.

Photo Courtesy of Oscar Sol

Crime

Burbank Police Seeking Additional Victims Of Scammer

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Burbank Police Crime

The Burbank Police Department (BPD) detectives are seeking additional possible victims of a suspect who scammed multiple bank customers.

On May 24, a victim came to the BPD to report a check fraud scam who had been approached by the suspect in the Logix Federal Credit Union parking lot on Hollywood Way, according to Sgt. Emil Brimway, spokesperson for the department.

The suspect, Gevorg Adoyan, 29, of North Hollywood, explained he had reached his cash-out limit and asked the victim to negotiate a check for him so that he could gamble at a casino.

Adoyan offered the victim a percentage of the check-in exchange for his assistance.

The victim agreed to complete the transaction and deposited the check into his account. The victim then withdrew cash from his account and gave it to the suspect. The negotiated check was later returned as fraudulent.

Through their investigation, detectives learned of 11 additional victims who were scammed by the same suspect at the same location.

A search warrant was executed at Adoyan’s residence where detectives recovered additional fraudulent checks, according to Brimway.

Adoyan was arrested and booked for forgery and grand theft, according to investigators.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed 12 counts of theft by false pretenses against Adoyan and was he was arraigned on July 14.

Detectives believe Adoyan may have scammed additional victims. The BPD is asking any additional victims or anyone with information about these incidents to contact the Burbank Police Department Investigations Division at (818) 238-3210.

The suspect, Gevorg Adoyan, who was arrested for allegedly scamming victims outside a Burbank credit union. Photo Courtesy of the BPD.
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Woman Killed After Van Nuys Stabbing, Suspect Arrested

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Crime LAPD Slider

A woman was killed after a Van Nuys stabbing Wednesday morning with one suspect taken into custody.

Just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, officers responded to the 17300 block of Matilija Avenue in Van Nuys for the report of a possible homicide according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

When officers arrived, they were directed to a nearby house on the 13800 block of Valerio Street, where a body with multiple stab wounds, according to detectives.

The victim, identified as 53-year-old Ana Guardado, was declared dead at the scene, police said. 

After further investigation, detectives arrested Jose Sierra, 49, for murder, according to the LAPD.

As of Wednesday, the motive of the incident is unknown, according to investigators.

Sierra was booked at Van Nuys Jail with a $2,000,000 bail.     

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Valley Bureau Homicide Division, Detectives R. Secor or S. Kim at (213) 216-0171.

Those wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go directly here.

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Over $1 Billion In Marijuana Plants Seized In Antelope Valley Drug Bust

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Antelope Valley Marijuana Bust 1
Photo Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Over $1 billion of marijuana was seized in an Antelope Valley drug bust last month — the largest illegal cannabis enforcement operation in Los Angeles County history.

The joint operation on June 8 resulted in a total of approximately 373,000 plants and 33,480 pounds of harvested marijuana, worth an estimated street value of $1.193 billion, according to L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

“What we want to do is send a clear and loud message to the cartels and anyone doing illegal operations in the High Desert, your days are over and we’re coming for you,” Villanueva said Tuesday.

In 2020, there were an estimated 150 illegal cannabis operations in the Antelope Valley, growing to over 500 in 2021, a majority of which are connected to drug cartels, according to the sheriff.

After receiving numerous complaints from residents, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department took action, partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as several local law enforcement agencies.

Cartel members were threatening residents and stealing millions of gallons of water from the already limited supply in the desert, according to Villanueva.

Last month, over 400 personnel in the joint operation served dozens of search warrants at 200 locations across the High Desert.

At the end of the 10-day operation, a total of 131 people were arrested. In addition, 33 firearms $20,000 in cash and several vehicles were seized. 

The number of greenhouses at each grow varied from eight to 15. The largest site, which is believed to be the largest illegal cannabis operation in L.A. County, had 74 grow tents spanning over 10 acres.

Chloe Hakim, an environmental scientist for Fish and Wildlife, said illegal pesticides and fertilizers have seeped into streams and groundwater in the area. 

Two bears were found dead in the area of the grows, which law enforcement officials attribute to the use of the pesticides. 

See Related: Cartel-Operated Marijuana Grows Taken Down In Antelope Valley As Part Of ‘Massive’ Joint Operation

There has also been an increase in violence in connection to the operations, including two murders, according to Villanueva.

“Violent crime is part of the trade for the cartels and has been associated with these grows,” he said. “It was our obligation to put a stop to this.”

Congressman Mike Garcia surveyed the grows from a helicopter a month before the bust, and hosted a town hall with community members from Pearblossom. 

“The testimonies that we heard from those local residents were absolutely tragic. They were threatened on a daily basis from cartel members and bad actors,” Garcia said.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger is working toward policies to eradicate the illegal operations, that are “plaguing the Antelope Valley and has the potential to spread throughout Los Angeles County.”

“What began as water theft, has exploited to become the infiltration of organized crime groups in the Antelope Valley who are operating internationally,” Barger said.

The supervisor has authored several motions to increase enforcement efforts on both illegal grows and unlicensed cannabis dispensaries. 

Villanueva said operations are going to continue in the coming months, to further ensure the eradication of illegal cannabis grows in the Antelope Valley. 

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