Lead Story West Edition

Council offers $50,000 reward to find killer of South L.A. Marine

LOS ANGELES — The City Council approved a $50,000 reward offer Sept. 23 for information leading to the person who fatally shot a 19-year-old Marine in South Los Angeles.

Lance Cpl. Carlos Segovia-Lopez was found shortly after 11:30 p.m. Sept. 16 covered in blood and slumped over the steering wheel of a Dodge Charger in the 2100 block of 31st Street, according to Los Angeles police and witnesses. He was taken off life support Sept. 19 after doctors informed the family he could not be saved.

The council approved a reward motion introduced by Council President Herb Wesson asking the public to come forward with information that leads detectives to Segovia-Lopez’s killer.

“We will have a reward available of $50,000 to anyone that gives us any information that leads to the capture and the conviction of these criminals,” Wesson said.

Police said the Marine was driving on 31st Street when an assailant shot him, causing him to lose control of the car and crash into a parked vehicle.

“In spite of all our best efforts, we have not yet located any evidence, witness, video that would lead us in a direction as to who is responsible for this senseless act,” LAPD Capt. Peter Whittingham said.

Whittingham said Segovia-Lopez was on his cell phone when he was shot.

“It is very possible that he might have seen some suspicious activity or even a crime in progress, and it appears to us that something happened in that instant where he was killed, unsure if by the person or persons who he observed and who he had some concerns about their activity.”

Whittingham said police have a recording of the call, and gunshots can be heard before the phone goes dead.

Segovia-Lopez left Camp Pendleton in San Diego County Sept. 16 and was visiting friends and family for the weekend in South Los Angeles, according to family friend Claudia Perez, with whom the Marine worked at a nonprofit agency that provides services to the homeless. He was struck by gunfire after leaving the home of his girlfriend.

“Don’t give up on this,” Perez told the council today. “We need  … justice.”

Police said Segovia-Lopez had no gang connections, and it is unclear why he was shot. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the LAPD.

Hundreds of Marines at Camp Pendleton paused Sept. 21 to pay tribute to the fallen Marine and offer support to his family.

“I know you’re going through a lot of pain and a lot of suffering right now,” Cmdr. Jeff Holt said during the assembly. “But we stand here today, shoulder-to-shoulder with you and we know that something unique is happening in Los Angeles right now. There’s a great moment of solidarity not just here in Camp Pendleton but in that great city. People are working together, and we’re counting on the Los Angeles Police Department to bring justice.”