5 arrested in connection with deadly shooting in Long Beach, police say

Five people were arrested Thursday in connection with the killing of a 24-year-old Long Beach resident who was shot to death last month near MacArthur Park, police said

Los Angeles resident Filasifoki Xavier Pio, 21, Signal Hill resident Santiago Rivera, 19, and a 15-year-old Long Beach resident were taken into custody on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. Two other Long Beach residents, Michael Keith Levine, 47, and 19-year-old Emery Jezebel Hinojos, were also arrested—Levine on suspicion of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of illegally being in possession of ammunition, and Hinojos on suspicion of one count each of being in possession of a firearm with a prior juvenile court sustained petition, accessory after the fact and concealing evidence, according to the LBPD.

The arrests come after an investigation that spanned about a month and a half since Duwayane Thomas’ death on June 3. Police said that the investigation included serving multiple search warrants across several locations in Los Angeles County.

Authorities also seized two firearms while serving the search warrants Thursday, police said, though it is not clear if they were the weapons used in the shooting.

Pio and Rivera are being held on $2 million bail while no bail was set for the 15-year-old Long Beach resident. Levine’s bail was set at $35,000 and Hinojos’ was set at $20,000, police said. They were both released before midnight after posting bail, according to inmate records.

Police allege that all five suspects played a role in the murder of Thomas and the attempted murder of a woman who was nearby when the shooting occurred.

On June 3, Thomas was in the area of 14th Street and Walnut Avenue around 11 p.m. when he was approached by three men and shot multiple times in the upper body without provocation, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

As the suspects were fleeing, they also shot at a woman who was driving nearby, striking her multiple times in the upper and lower body, the LBPD said at the time of the shooting.

People who were in the area when the shooting occurred provided aid to Thomas and the woman until police arrived, authorities said. Both Thomas and the woman were transported to a local hospital but Thomas was soon pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.

Detectives now believe the motive to be gang-related. They plan to soon present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration, according to the LBPD.

1 dead, 1 injured in shooting near MacArthur Park, police say

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Fernando Haro is the Long Beach Post's breaking news and public safety reporter.
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