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LAPD Yet to Come up With Any Leads in Ernesto Ramirez Killing

"All we're doing is working this," says Northeast Division Capt. Jeff Bert of the May 28 murder case.

Nearly a month after a 21-year-old gang member was shot and killed in Highland Park, police have yet to identify a suspect or come up with any useful leads—other than to confirm that the murder was was a "gang crime," in the words of Los Angeles Police Department Northeast Division Capt. Jeff Bert. 

"It is gang-related by virtue of the fact that the person killed is a gang member," Bert told Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch. "What we call gang-related is if the victim or suspect is a gang member."

Ramirez was shot multiple times by car-borne assailants on May 28 while he was on the sidewalk on the 4700 block of Benner Street, near Avenue 57, where some of his relatives live. From the start, the LAPD has declined to give his gang affiliation for investigatory reasons, although it's well known that he was a member of the Avenues gang.

At the time of the incident, Bert told Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch that it appeared Ramirez was not killed because of his gang affiliation, nor was his murder part of any retaliatory gang warfare.

But at least two LAPD officers familiar with Highland Park have hinted on condition of anonymity to Patch that a gang is indeed responsible for the killing.

There have also been rumors that Ramirez was killed by a member of the Avenues recently freed under California's Public Safety Realignment law (AB 109). Although from the day of Ramirez's murder, Bert has denied any gang involvement other than to confirm that Ramirez was a documented gang member, the captain did refer to Avenues members returning to Highland Park from prison.

“What we’re seeing now is that as time goes on, some of them are getting out [of prison],” Bert said in an interview to Patch last month. “As a result, I’m putting most of my gang units in Highland Park ..."

According to one source who has lived in the area for more than four decades and closely followed its gang violence, Ramirez was killed because he allegedly snitched on the Avenues while they were being arrested in a 2009 countywide joint taskforce operation. (Ramirez was a minor at the time.) 

"Personally, I don't have any indication of that," Bert told Patch, referring to the possibility that Ramirez was targeted by the Avenues. "And if I did, I wouldn't be able to tell you," the captain said, adding that any information pertaining to "confidential informants" is not for public consumption.

Meanwhile, the investigation continues. "We have video and vehicle leads of the suspect but we're nowhere identifying the suspect," Bert said. "We're active in working it [the case]—all we're doing is working this."

Gil June 25, 2013 at 02:44 PM
I hope LAPD catches this person before someone else is killed. If not the gang violence will continue to escalate in highland park and surrounding communities.
Ren June 25, 2013 at 03:40 PM
thank your politicians for AB109. Comforting to know our tax dollars are spent releasing cesspool scum back into the neighborhood.
Laura Gardner June 26, 2013 at 01:06 PM
As far as I can see the Northeast division is pretty laid back in the North areas. I catch the bus late at night often on N. Figueroa street and I barley see any police patrolling at night. And when I look around, a whole bunch of stuff is going down. Also in Glassell Park, it's not enough patrolling in the area. We even have a pervert that is pulling his pants down on the kids and the police can't catch him because their never around. I think the police is too laid back in our community and are only focused on DONUTS.
Fernando lopez November 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM
This article is Bullshit number 11 is bullshit. Ernesto was never from avenues. Or any gang. He was not a gang member. There's others rumors to his cause of death. Lapd know what they are. They need to get off all this gang allegation bs to be able to dust it off. If they can't solve the crime, fine. You can't expect them to solve every case. But do not demonize the victim to make it ok. I know that day he just wanted to see his daughter on her bday. But someone wanted to see to it that didn't happen. He's family to my fiance. His second daughter was born yesterday.
Fernando lopez November 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM
@Baird Martin, you don't even know know what your talking about. You should know by now don't believe everything you read.

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