Four Arrested in Gang Shooting That Killed 51-Year-Old Father, an Army Veteran

Four Arrested in Gang Shooting That Killed 51-Year-Old Father, an Army Veteran

The 600 block of East 61st Street in Long Beach in April 2011. (Google Maps/Screenshot via California Insider)

California Insider Staff

California Insider Staff

4/12/2024

Updated: 4/12/2024

Four men were arrested this past week and each charged in the killing of a 51-year-old Army veteran and father of two in a gang-related shooting, the Long Beach Police Department said April 10 in a statement.
Police discovered Mario Morales-Moreno with a gunshot wound to his upper body outside his home on the 600 block of East 61st Street on April 4, according to authorities. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police also found another man with gunshot wounds to his lower body, who was transported to a hospital, where he was in stable condition. No further information was released by police about the man’s identity or current condition.
Neighbors said Mr. Moreno was gardening when he was shot.
Police believe the shooting was gang-related and don’t believe Mr. Moreno was the intended target.
An investigation is ongoing, authorities said.
“Gang-related violence has no place in any part of our city, and this callous criminal act has forever changed the lives of Mr. Moreno’s family,” Long Beach Chief of Police Wally Hebeish said in the statement.
Multiple firearms were recovered during the arrests, police said. Evidence was then collected during searches in Long Beach, Bellflower, and Indio.
“The tireless investigative work and arrests of these suspects again demonstrates the commitment of our personnel to hold violent individuals accountable and take dangerous firearms out of their hands,” Mr. Hebeish said.
In addition to murder, each was charged with attempted murder and other firearm-related charges.
Those charged were: Taylor Byron Woods, 20, of Bellflower; Tyrell Deshawn Louden, 20, of Indio; Jordan Omarion Stokes, 18, of Long Beach; and Semaj Lamar Obrien, 21, also of Long Beach.
Each is in custody on $2 million bail.
Kristi Wyffels, a friend and neighbor of Mr. Moreno, has established a GoFundMe page on behalf of his family, writing that he was a “fixture in our North Long Beach neighborhood, always looking out for others and helping anyone in need.”
More than $16,000 had been raised as of Thursday afternoon.
According to Ms. Wyffels, Mr. Moreno is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Police urged anyone with more information to call Homicide Detectives Eric Thai or Kelsey Myers at 562-570-7244. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call LA Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or via www.LACrimeStoppers.org.
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