Parents Appeal for Clues in Their Son's Fatal Shooting in El Monte

Parents Appeal for Clues in Their Son's Fatal Shooting in El Monte

MONTEREY PARK (CNS) - Authorities today released a composite drawing of a ``person of interest'' investigators want to question about the slaying of a 20-year-old man gunned down while driving in El Monte.

Fabian Garcia Barajas of Pomona was shot about 12:30 a.m. on April 3 as he drove along the 12300 block of Valley Boulevard, near Durfee Avenue, the sheriff's department reported. His car crashed into the front metal security gate of a business park after he was fatally wounded.

The person of interest, who was seen running from the crime scene, was described as Hispanic, 25-30 years old, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing about 160-170 pounds. He wore a black Los Angeles Dodgers cap and a black jacket.

Fabian Barajas Sr. said his son was a car, motorcycle and video games enthusiast. He lived with his mother and worked in Walnut as machine operator to help support his family.

The young man usually drove straight home after his shift ended about midnight. On the night he was killed he drove between an area in Walnut off the Pomona (60) Freeway and Lemon Avenue to a cul-de-sac on Gilman Road and Valley Boulevard.

``Fabian was stopped at the end of the cul-de-sac when, detectives believe, a `walk-up' shooting occurred as Fabian was seated in the driver's seat of his vehicle,'' according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez, who said investigators believe the person of interest shot into the vehicle then ran east along nearby railroad tracks, away from the scene.

Barajas then drove his four-door Infiniti G37 toward Valley Boulevard where he crashed through a metal gate at a business complex, Navarro-Suarez said.

He had been struck in the body by at least one shot and was pronounced dead at the scene, she said.

When talking about whoever killed his only son, Barajas Sr. said, ``This person is an animal. He's not a human being, he's an animal, and I'm not afraid to say it.''

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the killing.

``It's hard to accept what happened here because my son wasn't a person who would harm anybody,'' a tearful Barajas Sr. said at a news conference at the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau in Monterey Park, where the young man's parents were joined by other family members and friends in seeking justice for their loved one.

Anyone with information about the shooting, or the person of interest, who may have information about what happened, was urged to call sheriff's Lt. Joe Mendoza at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.

Photo: LASD

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