A story for every victim

Aurelio Lico, 24

Aurelio Lico, a 24-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Monday, June 1, during a fight in the 3000 block of West Leeward Avenue in Koreatown, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

His brother, Eleazar Lico, a 20-year-old Latino, was also fatally wounded during the same fight, which occurred outside an apartment complex between Vermont and Westmoreland avenues, said Lt. John Radtke of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau Homicide division.

"It just hurts when you think about these cases," Radtke said, "like you can feel it all the way through your body. It's a terrible loss."

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fight, Radtke said. The incident began earlier in the day, when Eleazar Lico was allegedly jumped by a 39-year-old Latino who lived in the apartment complex. The Licos lived in another part of Los Angeles with their family, and investigators don’t know why Eleazar was in the area.

After Eleazar got beat up, he left and brought his older brother back to the area about 2:25 p.m., police said.

The brothers confronted the man, later identified by police as Roberto Menjivar, who called for help. That’s when a 16-year-old Latino came to Menjivar’s aid, allegedly armed with a gun, Radtke said.

Investigators are still trying to determine if other people joined the two assailants. When the two groups confronted each other, the fight escalated. The Lico brothers tried to get away and ran in opposite directions on west Leeward Avenue.

Aurelio, the older brother, ran toward Westmoreland and was shot in the head. He was pronounced dead at 2:34 p.m. at the scene, according to the coroner’s office.

Eleazar, the younger brother, ran toward Vermont Avenue but collapsed after he was shot and hit with a tire iron, Radtke said. He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 3:38 p.m., according to coroner's records.

Menjivar was arrested the night of the shootings on suspicion of accessory to murder, Radtke said. The 16-year-old was arrested June 2 at a Hollywood residence by the LAPD-FBI Fugitive Task Force.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has charged the two alleged gang members -- Menjivar and the 16-year-old, Jonathan Orozco -- with two counts of murder. Orozco has been charged as an adult.

The two are scheduled to be arraigned on June 18 in Department 30 of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Police have no evidence that the victims were gang members.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call LAPD's West Bureau Homicide office at (213) 382-9470. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

-- Jeanette Marantos

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