Manhunt launched after guard killed

first_imgLA PUENTE – A hunt began Friday for four men authorities say shot and killed a 59-year-old security guard who had been on the job for 10 days, in a botched robbery at a La Puente market. The attempted robbery took place about 10:30 p.m. Thursday at Northgate Market in the 800 block of Hacienda Boulevard, sheriff’s officials said. Frutso Anuino of La Puente was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. He was an employee of Community Patrol, a contract security service based in Santa Ana. “He barely started to work with the company a little over a week ago but I know he was a nice man,” said Jason Ledesma, Community Patrol manager. Patterson said all of the employees were accounted for and unharmed when deputies arrived. Sheriff’s officials said the four suspects, described as male Latinos in their late 20s, did not take any valuables or money. Guy Ortiz of La Puente said his father-in-law, who works as a cook at Northgate Market, was inside the store during the attempted robbery. “He said the security guard went upstairs and never came back down and the robbers went running out the back door,” Ortiz, 40, said. “My wife and I knew something was wrong because my father-in-law always pulls up at 11 p.m. and he’s never late. When 11:30 p.m. rolled around we knew something was wrong.” Neighboring businesses to Northgate market said they were stunned Friday morning to see yellow crime scene tape inside the Hacienda Plaza shopping center. But many of them, including Roselyn Story, said the plaza is not very safe. “We’ve had numerous problems here with people running in the store and escaping with merchandise, that happens a lot,” said Story, an assistant manager of Big Lots in La Puente. “The security guard that patrols the area doesn’t have a gun and I think the problem here is there’s just not enough security around. I was sad to find out that someone was killed.” Mike Stockstill, spokesman for Northgate Gonzalez Markets, said the company is working with law enforcement officials to post a $10,000 reward in connection with Anuino’s killing. The company also has established a fund for his family. Anuino is survived by his wife, three daughters and two granddaughters. Late Friday, some people stopped at the store. Miguel Nunez, 34, of La Puente, said he heard about the death on the news. “I live around here and just wanted to stop by to see the place,” he said. “It’s kind of my own way of paying respect to the man who lost his life because of a senseless crime.” Investigators are studying a surveillance video for evidence and ask anyone with information to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323)526-5541. The store is expected to reopen today. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsAuthorities said they believe the four gunmen entered the market unmasked before closing time and hid upstairs. They then put on masks. “The manager sent the security guard to the second floor of the market to get some merchandise,” said sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Lt. Al Grotefend. “A female employee went to look for the security guard when he failed to come back down and at that time she was threatened and accosted by the suspects.” Grotefend said it’s likely Anuino surprised the would- be robbers when he went upstairs, and was shot and killed. The woman was able to run away from the men to tell the other employees what was happening. The 10 employees inside the market locked themselves in a front office and called 9-1-1, said sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Patterson. last_img

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