Gustavo Arteaga, 37
Gustavo Arteaga, a 37-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Friday, July 28, in the San Gabriel Riverbed north of Artesia Boulevard and east of Palo Verde Avenue in Cerritos, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Arteaga was visiting at a homeless encampment in the riverbed when an argument broke out, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina.
One of the men pulled out a gun and began shooting about 8:35 p.m., striking Arteaga and a 21-year-old Latino, Corina said.
Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital. Arteaga was pronounced dead at 9:15 p.m., according to coroner records. His cause of death was listed as multiple gunshot wounds.
The 21-year-old was treated for his injuries and released.
Investigators don’t know if Arteaga was the intended target, Corina said. Witnesses scattered after the shooting and the few people detectives have spoken to “are being pretty tight-lipped,” Corina said.
The shooter and a companion, both described as Latinos between the ages of 30 and 40, were last seen running away from the area, Corina said.
Arteaga used to live in Bellflower with his wife and four children, Corina said, but he had separated from his wife. Family members told investigators he had been “living on the streets,” Corina said.
Family members went to talk to people at the encampment, said Arteaga’s sister, Nora Ortega. They were told Arteaga had tried to calm tensions during the argument and got caught in the middle, she said.
“My brother was having a few personal relationship problems, therefore he would go hang out at the riverbed sometimes, and he even stayed here,” she wrote in an email. “He did have a tent for himself, and he would say, ‘These are my friends. They don’t judge me.’”
The man who told her about her brother was weeping, she said, “telling us how good and kind a person my brother was, that he always took food for everyone there, and at the time of the shooting he was cooking burritos for them…. Indeed my brother was a good person with a good heart. He was always there for all of us.”
Arteaga’s wife has started a fundraising page to raise money for his funeral expenses.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500, Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.