INGLEWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A 33-year-old father of four and his 4-year-old son died Saturday in an attack in Inglewood that left three other family members wounded.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department arrived to the 4900 block of W. 99th Street following a “shots fired” call just after 4 a.m. and began to render assistance to the shooting victims.
Two of the victims were found in the street while another victim was located in an alleyway and two others were found inside a home.
Lt. James Madia of the Inglewood Police Department told Art Barron, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, that the father died in surgery.
Three kids, ages 4, 6 and 7, were also shot.
Saturday evening, police identified the deceased father as Filimon Lamas. Officials say the man used his body to shield his children from gunfire.
The 4-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to the head and died. The other two children and their 28-year-old mother, identified Saturday evening as Gloria Jiminez, were said to be in critical but stable condition.
A fourth child of the family, identified as an 8-year-old boy, was the only one to escape without injury.
Madia described the neighborhood in which the gunfire had erupted as “quiet” and said that it sees very little violence, KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO reported.
“We don’t get a lot of calls for service in this particular area,” Madia said. “For something of this magnitude, this kind of tragedy to happen in this kind of neighborhood, it’s very unusual.”
Saturday evening, police identified their suspect as Desmond John Moses.
The suspect, a 55-year-old black Haitian male, remained at large. He was described as 5-feet, 6-inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds.
Police says Moses was a tenant who lived at the rear of the property for about 15 years.
“At this time, our SWAT team has arrived on scene. We have contained the area,” said Chief Mark Fronterotta of the Inglewood Police Department. “We certainly have had five unfortunately five shooting victims here, two of which are in critical condition.”
Firefighters also battled a fire at the family’s rear home, which authorities believe was set by the alleged gunman.
Crews had been kept at a distance initially due to safety concerns, but as of 8:30 a.m., had knocked down the blaze.
Many blocks in the surrounding area have been cordoned off and five homes in the immediate area have been evacuated. Fronterotta said other nearby residents are being asked to stay inside their homes.
Meanwhile, investigators combed through the burned remains of the home looking for evidence of human remains, “the suspect’s of otherwise,” said Madia.
Police said the family had an on-going dispute with Moses but would not give further details.
Neighbor Judy Castellanos told CBS2 and KCAL9’s Louisa Hodge that the family was scared of Moses. She said the police told them they could do nothing.
As of 10:20 p.m. Saturday, Associated Press was reporting police found a body in Moses’ burned home.