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Jaime Garcia Jr., 29

Jaime Garcia Jr., a 29-year-old Latino, was fatally shot Saturday, June 30, at 9415 Firestone Blvd. in Downey, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Garcia and his younger brother, Ivan Garcia, 17, drove to Rick’s Motel that morning and got into an argument with one of the guests, Raymond Joseph Penland, according to Downey Police Sgt. Maria Villegas. 

The brothers were shot in the motel’s parking lot around 11:25 a.m., Villegas said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene a short time later, according to coroner’s records.

Penland, 29, fled the scene but was arrested that evening on suspicion of murder. Acting on a tip, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s SWAT team went to a warehouse in Santa Fe Springs to confront Penland, who gave himself up around 8:45 p.m., Villegas said. 

Investigators don’t know why the brothers went to see Penland at the motel or why they argued, Villegas said. 

“We surmise they knew each other because they were all from Downey, but we don’t have a lot of information about that right now,” she said.

Garcia and his brother lived in Diamond Bar with their parents, but they previously lived for many years in Downey, “so they did have ties here,” Villegas said. 

Penland had been living at the motel with his girlfriend, Catarina Frances Barajas, 25, and his sister, Vanessa Teresa Cardenas, 32, police said. Investigators listed both women as people of interest because they were at the motel during the shootings.

The women turned themselves in to Downey investigators and were released after questioning, Villegas said. No charges are expected against them. 

Investigators found a handgun in the motel parking lot they think belonged to Penland, Villegas said. The gun is being processed. 

Neither of the Garcias was armed, police said. 

Penland was charged July 3 with two counts of murder, with the enhanced charge of unlawful death by use of a firearm, Villegas said. He pleaded not guilty and is being held in lieu of $2-million bail, according to jail records. His next trial date is scheduled for July 17. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Downey Det. Richard Garcia at (562) 904-2330. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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