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Joseph Carlos Barela, 33

Joseph Carlos Barela (2016-07-04)

Joseph Carlos Barela, a 33-year-old Latino, was shot and killed on Sunday, July 4,  on the dirt path beside the Los Angeles River, west of the 710 Freeway and north of Firestone Boulevard in Bell Gardens, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Barela, a homeless man, was riding his bicycle to visit some friends when a man with a gun  approached him and opened fire about 6:26 p.m., said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina. 

Investigators believe reports that the gunman ran from the scene, Corina said, heading south along the path on foot. 

Barela was pronounced dead at the scene from gunshot wounds at 6:30 p.m., according to coroner’s records. 

The gunman is described only as a Latino adult wearing dark clothing, Corina said. 

"We think this is going to turn out to be a personal matter,” Corina said. “We believe the person who shot him knew him. It’s not like it was a stranger killing a stranger.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. 

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