Three people were arrested in connection to the murder of 24-year-old Inglewood resident Larry Jefferson, who was shot to death in North Long Beach late last month, police said.
Long Beach residents Julian Richard Maldonado, 20, Ronald Maldonado, 25 and Myrna Palay, 29, were all taken into custody after a multi-day arrest operation from April 15 to 21 in which police served multiple search warrants across several locations within the city.
All three suspects were booked on one count of murder and their bail was each set at $2 million. Julian and Ronald Maldonado were charged with murder Tuesday and detectives will present Palay’s case to the District Attorney’s office for filing consideration next week. Julian and Ronald have not yet entered a plea to the charges, court records show.
Police say Jefferson, 24, entered a store in the 400 block of South Street the morning of March 29 when he was approached by the three assailants. Jefferson and the three suspects got into a verbal argument that escalated when Julian, Ronald and Palay allegedly began to physically assault the victim, police said in a statement Friday.
Jefferson fled the store and the suspects chased him until one of them got out a gun and shot at him. The three suspects then left the area.
When officers arrived at the 400 block of South Street they found Jefferson with multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body. Jefferson was transported to a local hospital where he died later that morning.
According to the LBPD, the motive for the shooting appeared to be gang-related, which the department defines as any crime “committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang.”
But friends and family of the victim say Jefferson was not in a gang.
The suspects and Jefferson did not know each other prior to the deadly encounter, police said. The investigation is ongoing.