Sialeuvea Sitani, 17
Sialeuvea Sitani, a 17-year-old boy of Samoan descent, died Sunday, Nov. 1, after he was shot in the 16100 block of Bellflower Boulevard in Bellflower, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Sitani was standing by the entrance to a trailer court on Bellflower Boulevard about 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, when a car drove up and a passenger inside began shooting, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Victor Lewandowski.
The gunfire struck Sitani multiple times, Lewandowski said. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:06 a.m., according to coroner’s records.
Sitani was a resident of Bellflower, but Lewandowski said he wasn’t near his home when he was shot. The youth was alone when he was shot, Lewandowski said, and it’s not clear why he was on the busy street, lined with restaurants, hotels and businesses.
In the early morning of Nov. 2, investigators arrested Jesus Chavez, 33, of Bellflower, on suspicion of murder. Lewandowski said Chavez was booked into the Lakewood sheriff’s station and is being held on $1 million bail.
Chavez was charged with capital murder Nov. 4 and is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 18 Los Angeles County Superior Court's Norwalk Courthouse.
Investigators believe Chavez and Sitani may have known each other and that Sitani was targeted because of a dispute, Lewandowski said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
For the Record
2:25 p.m., Nov. 9: Sialeuvea Sitani's first and last names were transposed when originally reported to the Los Angeles County coroner's office and were initially reported incorrectly in the Homicide Report.