Mario Morales-Moreno was an Army veteran and father of two children who was a fixture in his North Long Beach neighborhood, according to a neighbor. Photo courtesy Kristi Wyffels.

The four men accused of killing a North Long Beach man as he did yard work have been charged with murder and four counts of attempted murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced today.

Mario Morales-Moreno, 51, was an Army veteran and father of two children. Police don’t believe he was the intended target in the April 4 shooting.

“Our hearts are with Mr. Morales-Moreno’s family as they deal with this unimaginable tragedy,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges.

Gascón’s office alleged the accused killers were trying to shoot at four other people. One was wounded in the shooting but is expected to survive, according to police.


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Authorities have not given details on a possible motive other than to say they believe it’s gang-related.

“Gang violence has no place in our community and must be condemned in the strongest terms possible,” Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement.

Authorities identified the defendants as:

  • Taylor Byron Woods, a 20-year-old resident of Bellflower
  • Tyrell DeShawn Louden Jr., a 20-year-old resident of Indio
  • Jordan Omarion Stokes, an 18-year-old resident of Long Beach
  • Semaj Lamar O’Brien, a 21-year-old resident of Long Beach

Prosecutors alleged both Stokes and Louden Jr. used a handgun in the crime.

In addition to the murder and attempted murder counts, all four defendants face a conspiracy charge and allegations that the murder was “committed willfully, deliberately and with premeditation.”

They’re each being held on $8 million bail and will face life in prison if they’re convicted as charged, the District Attorney’s office said.

Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.