UPDATE, JULY 7, 2:03 P.M.: Undercover officers tracked the red Chevy Silverado pickup the late Villanueva was driving with an 18-year-old male passenger from a Santa Fe Springs swap meet parking lot car club gathering known as a “sideshow,” a law enforcement source speaking on condition of anonymity reportedly told the Los Angeles Times. After following the pickup out of the meet that involved about 80 trucks and off-road vehicles, a CHP team that had been monitoring the “illegal” event tried to pull over Villanueva, but the driver probably did not know they were officers because they were working undercover in street clothes and driving an unmarked vehicle, according to Sgt. Kathryn Hamel of the Fullerton Police Department. “If a car is following me, it’s unmarked with no lights and doesn’t look like cops, I wouldn’t stop for them either,” Mohammad Walid, an 18-year-old former classmate of Villanueva’s at Chatsworth High School, reportedly told the Times. More than $6,000 has been pledged toward the $10,000 GoFundMe goal for Villanueva’s family. Hamel, whose department sent officers to assist the CHP once the operation reached the Orange County city, directed anyone with information about the officer-involved shooting to call 714.738.6800. Anonymous tips can be left with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS), via occrimestoppers.org or by texting to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) from a cell phone. (All text messages should begin with the letters “OCCS”.)
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 6, 5:54 A.M.: A 19-year-old Canoga Park man was fatally shot and another man was hit in the arm by gunfire during a California Highway Patrol officer-involved shooting near Fullerton Municipal Airport late Sunday.
Undercover CHP officers were conducting an operation in Los Angeles County just before 11 p.m. when they followed a red pickup truck to a cul-de-sac on Pritchard Avenue near Gregory Avenue, according to Fullerton Police Sgt. Kathryn Hamel.
The truck at some point made a U-turn and headed directly at the officers, who opened fire, Hamel said.
The Orange County coroner identified Pedro Villanueva as the truck driver who died at the scene.
The passenger, who was hit in the arm with gunfire, was treated at and released from a local hospital Monday morning.
As is protocol in officer-involved shootings, the Orange County District Attorney’s office is investigating.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.