Thursday, March 03, 2011

Reyes Announces $50,000 Reward in Teen Shooting

(TOP)Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, joined by Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives, the victim's mother and church pastors, near the sidewalk where Jonathan Val, was fatally shot.
(BOTTOM) Photo of victim Jonathan Val, 17, who was mistaken for a rival gang member.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Monica Valencia
March 3, 2011 (213)473-7001,

Councilmember Ed P. Reyes today announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the suspects responsible for gunning down a high school teen in the Los Angeles community of Highland Park. Reyes was joined by Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives, the victim's family members and his church pastors at the press conference today at the crime scene, 390 N. Avenue 57.

"I urge anyone with any information about this vicious crime to please come forward," said Reyes, whose district includes Highland Park. "Please give Jonathan's family and friends some peace of mind so they can begin the long, painful journey of healing."

Reyes was joined by LAPD Captain William Murphy and Madeline Rivera, the victim's mother, who delivered a tearful plea calling for the public's help.

"I'm asking for help," said Rivera, holding up a photo of Jonathan. "This kid right here, he had a lot of dreams. He wanted to finish school. And April 28th last year he was standing out here like any other kid. They came around and they finished his life. The only thing I want is justice."

Rivera said her son was not a gang member. He was active in his church and with Peace Warriors, a local gang prevention program.

Pastor Ezra LaTurco, of Victory Outreach Eagle Rock, described Jonathan as a teen with a good sense of humor who loved music. Just months before Jonathan was killed, the teen had joined church members on a bus trip to Colorado for a retreat where he demonstrated his devotion to God, LaTurco said.

On April 28, 2010, just after 4 p.m., Jonathan Val was approached by three male Hispanics in a vehicle as he stood on the sidewalk in front of an apartment building in the 300 block of North Avenue 57, police said. He had just left his aunt's apartment building when the front passenger of the vehicle fired numerous rounds at Jonathan, whom police said was mistaken for a rival gang member. Jonathan was hit twice, in the front neck area and back right thigh, before he fled on foot and collapsed on the street, police said. Jonathan was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call Northeast Homicide Detectives L. Governo or J. Carrillo (213) 847-4261. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

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