A story for every victim

Richard Tovalin, 31

Richard Tovalin, a 31-year-old Latino, was fatally shot on Sunday, June 30, in the 400 block of Tonopah Avenue in La Puente, according to Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner records. 

Tovalin was sitting in his parked car, talking to two friends in the driveway of a home, when a small gray or silver-colored SUV drove up around 6:30 p.m. and a man with a gun got out and opened fire, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Brandon Dean. 

The gunfire struck all three men, Dean said. Tovalin was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:47 p.m., according to coroner's records The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. 

One of his friends, a 25-year-old Latino from La Puente, was standing outside the car and was shot at least twice in the upper torso, Dean said. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition but is expected to survive. 

The other man, a 28-year-old Latino from La Puente, was also taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his left hand, Dean said. He's also expected to survive. 

Witnesses said the shooter got back into the car, which drove south on Tonopah, out of view, Dean said. 

Investigators don't have a motive for the shooting, which was the second of three within a five-mile area in La Puente, The Times reported. The first, around 10:30 p.m. on June 28, killed David Peter Juarez, a 31-year-old Latino from East Los Angeles, as he was walking toward a taco truck with a friend in the 100 block of North Winton Avenue in the South San Jose Hills areas of La Puente. His friend, a 22-year-old Latino who lived in the area, was also struck by gunfire but is expected to survive, Dean said. 

And on July 1, around 3 p.m., Luis Paul Rivera, 40, was shot in an alley in the 15400 block of Temple Avenue in La Puente. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The three shootings are the first homicides in La Puente since July 2018, according to the Los Angeles Times' Homicide Report. Before these shootings, La Puente had just three other homicides in the past five years, according to the data base. 

Investigators don't know if the three recent shootings are related, Dean said. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. 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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