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Kenneth Johnson
  • Death date
  • July 14, 2007

Kenneth Johnson, 48

Kenneth Johnson, 48, a black man, was killed in the same double homicide that took the life of Theodore Giddens, 44. It happened at 42nd Street and Broadway just south of Martin Luther King Boulevard at about 3 a.m. Friday, July 13.

Johnson came to Newton station sometime after the shooting to tell police he had been shot. They called an ambulance for him, and he went to California Hospital, where his condition worsened, and he died at 5:27 a.m. Saturday, July 14.

A Latino man, Armando Sandoval, 29, was arrested almost immediately after by Newton officers responding to the radio call; he faces double-murder charges. Sandoval had a gun, which police seized, said LAPD Newton Det. Eric Spear. Officers Jose Arrellano and Rodrigo Lopez asked questions, got a description of the suspect, put out a broadcast.

Officers Sharlton Wampler and Officer Dana Grant saw a man who fit the description in a driveway about block away. As they were talking with him, they noticed a gun like the one described on the ground nearby. They arrested Sandoval. It is the second time this summer that uniformed LAPD officers have nabbed a double-murder suspect, saving detectives the trouble. Nine Newton officers working the incident that night got commendations, said Lt. Mike Menza.

Spear, the detective, said Sandoval argued with Johnson and Giddens, then pulled out a gun and shot both men. Spear said police aren't sure what the argument was about, but various people who frequent this street corner, pictured below right, said they thought Sandoval may have been on the hunt for drugs. Sandoval was a documented gang member. Neither Giddens nor Johnson had criminal records. Johnson's mother declined to be interviewed. A neighbor said he had lived in the vicinity at least 25 years.

A graffiti message, scrawled under a nearby mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe, bragged of the killer's acts, and profanely warning a wider world against doing anything about it.The Homicide Report has earlier covered the issue of gang intimidation, and how it discourages cooperation with police. This double-homicide offers a case in point: After Johnson and Giddens fell bleeding from mortal wounds. One graffiti message, scrawled under a nearby mural of the Virgen of Guadalupe, bragged of the killer's acts, and profanely warned a wider world against doing anything about it.

Photo: A graffiti message, scrawled under a nearby mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe, bragged of the killer's acts, and profanely warning a wider world against doing anything about it.

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