The Los Angeles Times reports that two suspects have been charged with the murder of two young women in Debs Park last October. The L.A. County District attorney claims that Dallas Stone Pineda, 17, and Jose Antonio Echeverria, 18, used a gun to kill Gabriela Calzada and Briana Gallegos, whose bodies were found on the southern edge of the park near El Sereno.
The LAPD is scheduled to hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the case. The two suspects are scheduled to be arraigned later today, according to the Times.
The two women were friends. Calzada, 19, was preparing to begin a firefighting training program after serving in juvenile hall. Gallegos, 17, was a cheerleader at Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academies in Glassell Park.
Last November, police searched several homes in the area and detained a few persons but no arrests were made.
Update @ 4:54 PM: The murders were “gang motivated,” said LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck during an afternoon press conference, reports KTLA. Both women were killed Oct. 27 and found a day later. One woman had been shot, both had been bludgeoned.
Echeverria also faces a separate attempted murder charge in connection with an unrelated incident that took place on Jan. 29. He is being held on $1.34 million bail, according to KTLA.
Pineda’s mother told KTLA that her son had been friends with both victims and had dated Gallegos for two years.
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