PASADENA (CNS) - A 24-year-old Pasadena man suspected of fatally shooting the younger brother of former Los Angeles Laker star Michael Cooper was in custody Monday.
Detectives from the Pasadena Police Department's Robbery Homicide Unit took Aaron Miguel Conell into custody over the weekend after identifying him as a suspect in the killing of Pasadena resident Mickey Cooper, said Pasadena Police Department Lt. Monica Cuellar.
They coordinated an arrest operation with members of the U.S. Marshals Service Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force and the department's SWAT and K-9 units, Cuellar said.
Mickey Cooper, 64, was found in Pasadena's Washington Park at 4 a.m. on Saturday suffering from gunshot wounds after PPD officers responded to a ShotSpotter gunshot detection alert in the 700 block of East Washington Boulevard, between Lake and El Molino avenues.
Cooper was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim's brother, Michael Cooper, was a defensive stalwart during the Lakers' "Showtime " championship era in the 1980s. After his playing career ended, he held various coaching positions, including as coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, guiding them to two WNBA titles. He is now the boys' basketball coach at Culver City High School.
"We lived 10 houses down (from) here," Michael Cooper told KABC 7, referring to Washington Park. "This is a park where we grew up playing. That's why he felt comfortable and safe here."
The ex-Laker said his brother struggled for several years with drug addition.
"We tried to help him all through this process. And he choose to live this life, but that doesn't mean that somebody can come take his life," Cooper told KABC.
Conell was initially booked at the Pasadena City Jail for assault a firearm. Over the weekend, detectives obtained additional evidence and the charges were was amended to include a murder charge, Cuellar said.
Anyone with information about this killing was asked to call the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 800- 222-8477 or tips can be sent to lacrimestoppers.org