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Alleged serial killer charged with additional crimes including murder

A suspected serial killer was charged in March with an additional count of murder and three additional counts of attempted murder in a San Fernando Valley killing spree that ultimately killed five people,  according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. 

Alexander Hernandez, 34, a Latino from Sylmar, is accused of randomly targeting people to shoot from his tan-colored sport-utility vehicle between March and August of 2014.

"He would fixate on people and he would start following them, and then he'd shoot them," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lt. John Corina said. "Someone would catch his eye."

The dead include:

— Sergio Sanchez, a 35-year-old Latino who was shot and killed on his way home from work  on Friday, March 14, on the Roxford Street offramp of the westbound 210 Freeway in Sylmar.

— Gildardo Morales, a 48-year-old Latino who was shot and killed Thursday, Aug. 21, as he was driving his truck to work in Pacoima.

— Mariana Franco, a 23-year-old Latina who was shot and killed Sunday, Aug. 24, in the 1400 block of Celis Street in San Fernando as she was riding in a car with her parents and siblings to early morning Mass. Her parents were injured in the shooting, prosecutors said.

— Michael Planells, a 29-year-old Latino who was shot and killed early Sunday, Aug. 24, in the parking lot of the Sylmar Recreation Center at 13109 Borden Ave. as he was searching for cans to recycle. 

— Gloria Tovar, a 59-year-old Latina who was shot and killed early Sunday, Aug. 24, as she was waiting in her car to pick up a friend for church in the 12900 block of Filmore Street in Pacoima. 

One of the injured was a Chatsworth teen who was shot in the spine and paralyzed on May 14 after driving his girlfriend home from their high school prom, prosecutors said. Hernandez is also accused of killing two dogs and injuring a third on Aug. 23 as he drove past a home in Pacoima. 

In addition to the five capital murder charges, Hernandez is charged with 10 counts of attempted murder, seven counts of shooting at an occupied vehicle, three counts of cruelty to an animal, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition by a felon and two counts of discharging a firearm with gross negligence. 

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His next court date is Aug. 11 in Department 102 of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. 

-- Jeanette Marantos

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