A story for every victim

Alexander Deleon, 19

Alexander Deleon, a 19-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Friday, Aug. 7, in the 5400 block of Atlantic Boulevard in Maywood, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies received a call about 12:09 p.m. about an assault with a deadly weapon at the Maywood Inn, said Sgt. Robert Gray.

When deputies arrived, they found Deleon in a room on the third floor of the hotel with a gunshot wound to the head, according to coroner's records. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:30 p.m. 

A 41-year-old man living in the next room was also shot, apparently by a stray bullet from the shooting in Deleon's room, Gray said, He was treated at a local hospital for a gunshot wound in his left leg and is expected to survive. Gray said he had no other connection to the shooting. 

Investigators believe that Deleon checked into the hotel room with his older brother, Steve Horta, 24, and their nephew, Ruben Horta, 18. Gray said Deleon had been adopted into another family when he was very young, and had just recently been reunited with his biological family.

Allegedly, "there was some evidence of drug use in the room" where Deleon was shot, Gray said, and investigators have heard conflicting stories from the Hortas, both of whom were arrested on suspicion of murder. 

"We're trying to piece together exactly what happened," Gray said. "People outside heard some type of scuffle and then gunshots."

Investigators found a handgun in the room that they believe was used in the shooting, Gray said. 

Steve Horta was charged Aug. 12 with murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition and being an accessory after the fact, according to Los Angeles County district attorney's office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani. Ruben Horta was also charged on Aug. 12 with murder and being an accessory after the fact. 

The two are scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 26 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court Metropolitan Courthouse in Department 69. 

Anyone with information about the case can contact Gray at the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. 

Jeanette Marantos 

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