Police ask residents to help solve Echo Park murder

Memorial for shooting victim

Memorial for William Perea


ECHO PARK — Police and city officials met with residents at the scene of a recent homicide to ask for help in finding the suspects who shot down a man on his bike.

The impromptu community gathering that included Councilman Mitch O’Farrell took place late Friday at the corner of Mohawk and Montana streets where 36-year-old William Perea was fatally shot while riding his bike the night of October 17. No suspects have been identified.  LAPD Northeast Division Captain Phillip Smith was present to give residents a description of the homicide  in hopes of prompting more community involvement.

“We would like to get more information from the community, but we’re not getting anything at this time,” said Smith in a phone interview.

Perea was riding his bike southbound on Mohawk when a car drove by and fired about 4 to 5 gunshots. Three, 9-millimeter casings were recovered at the scene. Perea was hit with one fatal shot while on his bicycle. He fell over at the northwest corner of Mohawk and Montana. He was pronounced dead at the scene.  It was the third Echo Park murder of the year, according to the  L.A. Times Homicide Report.

Smith said Perea had been arrested for narcotics violations  and was a transient at the time of the shooting. The shooting  could have been a random act or it could have been retaliation for an unpaid drug payment, Smith said.

At the neighborhood gathering, residents were also able to voice their concerns about other public safety issues, including the recent uptick in gang crime and graffiti as well reckless driving in Echo Park’s narrow streets.

“We have had some shootings, but it hasn’t been to the extent that we need to put a task force together  … to try to deal with it,” said Smith.

Although the shooting happened in an area with active gangs and tagging, the homicide has not been identified as gang-related at this time.

“The investigation is ongoing and we are investigating all aspects of the case,” said Smith.


Lucy Guanuna is a freelance reporter who has covered a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

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  1. I bet if you go ask the transients under the freeway on Silverlake Blvd by the 101 you’ll solve this murder. I believe in helping the homeless but that commune is trouble.

    • I agree. I understand there are homeless people just trying to get by, but many are involved in the buying and selling of drugs. We have a growing problem in Highland Park with serious drug use among the homeless population living down by the 110. Where there’s drug abuse, there’s crime cuz baby needs the next fix fast!

  2. They dont call that the Murder Block for nothing .