Ramon Araujo, 35
Posted Sept. 21, 2009, 10:50 a.m.
Los Angeles police are searching for two suspects, believed to be gang members, involved in the shooting, which left another man in critical condition.
The victims were sitting on the grass in the northwest corner of the park about 10:30 a.m. when they were approached by two men who began exchanging words with them, said LAPD Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz.
One of the suspects opened fire on Araujo, killing him. The same gunman fired multiple times at the second man, who was in critical condition at a local hospital, Diaz said.
The incident at MacArthur Park marked the first shooting there since January 2008 and the first fatal shooting at the park since August 2006, Diaz said.
Once considered a magnet for violence, drug dealing and other crimes, the park has undergone a revival in recent years as the LAPD beefed up patrols and city leaders invested in the site. Among the features of the revived park is a new soccer field that has been popular with Westlake District residents.
"Anytime we are talking about a crime in MacArthur Park, there's an added dimension," Diaz said. "It's pretty bold to do this in the day when there's lots of people around."
Diaz noted that there is an extensive network of cameras in and around the park, and he expects arrests will be made.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Anthony Pesce