Police arrest two suspects in killing of musician Toko Tasi

Police have arrested two suspects in connection with the death of local musician Toko Tasi, who was gunned down outside a Long Beach bar late Saturday.

The Long Beach Police Department in a news release Friday said officers on Thursday afternoon responded to a home in Hesperia and arrested two Long Beach residents they believe are connected with the murder: Thomas Arellaga, 43, and Lorna Clemena, 43.

Police believe Arellaga shot Tasi following a dispute outside the PBS Pub and Company on West Willow Street near Eucalyptus Avenue around 11:40 p.m. He was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Long Beach City Jail.

Police said Clemena was allegedly aware of the shooting and hid evidence in an attempt to protect Arellaga. She was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact and was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Detectives conducted a search warrant at a Long Beach home in the 2400 block of San Francisco Avenue, where evidence was recovered, police said.

Born in Hawaii, Tasi grew up in Long Beach and collaborated with the bands Sublime and Slightly Stoopid. He was known for his melodic singing voice and at one point was signed to the Long Beach-based Skunk Records.

More than one hundred people turn out for a vigil for the slain musician on Monday. Benefit shows are being organized for a later date to help support his family.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].