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Four Long Beach gang members charged in summer shootings that left two dead

Four Long Beach gang members have been charged with killing two men, injuring another and threatening several others in a string of summer shootings last year, officials said.

Semaj Rashaad Harris, 24,  Deante McNeese, 22, and Sohntee Laray Webb, 24, are accused of killing Rodrigo Salazar-Perez, 24, on Sept. 16, 2015, in the 1200 block of Chestnut Avenue.  

The men are also accused of  shooting at a house about a mile away, off East 7th Street, and threatening the three people inside, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Harris and McNeese are also charged with killing James Monroe Ratliff Jr., 34, on Sept. 7 in the 400 block of West 5th Street.

Police believe Harris and McNeese also shot at three men in the 500 block of East Burnett Street on Aug. 24, seriously injuring one. 

The charges include allegations that the men acted on behalf of a criminal street gang in all of the incidents, and intentionally used a rifle to shoot at the victims on July 28, Sept. 7 and Sept. 16.

McNeese is charged with using a handgun to try to kill the victim on Aug. 24.

Long Beach police homicide and gang investigators arrested Harris and McNeese on Jan. 21 with the help of other officers.

Webb was already in custody on an unrelated charge, according to a department news release. Investigators provided few details about the motives for the crimes.

“Ultimately, these shootings were carried out for the benefit of the gang,” spokeswoman Nancy Pratt wrote in an e-mail. “Detectives will not be providing any additional info.”

During the investigation, Los Angeles police detectives contacted their counterparts at the Long Beach Police Department about another gang-related shooting about 1:30 p.m. on July 1 in the area of West Pico Boulevard and South Vermont Avenue in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles, according to the news release.

No one was injured in that shooting, but investigators believe Harris and McNeese were involved, along with Traveon Armando Miller, 24, of Long Beach, according to the news release.

Miller was arrested Jan. 25 on a warrant accusing him of attempted murder in the incident, according to the release.

All four defendants, who are black, were arraigned Feb. 24 and pleaded not guilty to all charges, according to prosecutors.

Their next court date is March 21 for a pre-hearing conference in Department S01 of Los Angeles County Superior Court in Long Beach.

Harris and McNeese are being held in lieu of $7-million bail. Webb is being held in lieu of $4-million bail, and Miller is being held in lieu of $1,585,000 bail.

The cases are still under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding the murders should call Long Beach’s homicide detectives at (562) 570-7244. Information about the shootings should be directed to the gang investigation section at (562) 570-7370. 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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