Long Beach Police Arrest Four Men in Connection with Two Murders

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Long Beach police announced today the arrests of four men suspected in gang-related shooting deaths of two victims in two days.

The victims were identified as 22-year-old Rafael Araiza, fatally wounded in his car on June 24; and Reginald English, a homeless man found dead on a sidewalk on June 25, police said. "Detectives believe the two murders are related and will present the case to the District Attorney's Office early next week for filing consideration,'' police spokeswoman Allison Gallagher told City News Service.

 Detectives said they believe these killings were gang-related and those taken into custody may be responsible for additional shootings around the same time. The suspects were identified as:

  -- Gustavo Soto, 21, of Long Beach, arrested during a traffic stop in the 200 block of West C Street in Wilmington and booked for suspicion of murder and accessory after the fact, and held on $2 million bail in the Los Angeles County Jail;

-- Edilberto Valadez, 29, of Long Beach, arrested by LBPD SWAT at his residence in the 2200 block of East 15th Street and booked for suspicion of murder and unrelated misdemeanor warrants, and held on more than $2 million bail in the Los Angeles County Jail;

 -- Ernesto Ramirez, 30, of Downey, already in custody in Los Angeles County jail on an unrelated charge, booked for suspicion of murder and remaining in the jail on $2 million bail;

 --  Eduardo Rodriguez 32, of Downey, arrested at his residence in the 13500 block of Deming Avenue and booked for suspicion murder, accessory after the fact and kidnapping, and held without bail in the Los Angeles County Jail. Search warrants were served at locations in Long Beach, Downey and Victorville, police said.

Items seized included four handguns, two rifles, high-capacity magazines, body armor, ammunition and methamphetamine, including paraphernalia used to weigh, package and distribute the drug, police said. The firearms will be examined by the Long Beach Police Department's Forensic Science Services Division for any possible connection to the crimes under investigation, police said.

Anyone with information was urged to contact the Homicide Detail at 562-570-7244 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

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