LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The city and the Los Angeles Police Department Tuesday announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect responsible for the murder of a local assemblyman’s father.
Joseph Gatto, the 78-year-old father of Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), was fatally shot in his Silver Lake home in November. Detectives, however, have been unable to develop any positive leads.
“My father gave so much to our community and now we must turn to the community for help in solving his murder,” Mike Gatto said Tuesday.
“Members of the public should be concerned,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said. “This is a dangerous individual who I don’t think was solely of danger to Mr. Gatto. He’s still on the loose and someone who needs to be captured and convicted.”
In the days following the murder, authorities released a suspect sketch after a woman reported seeing a man breaking into the victim’s vehicle on the 2300 block of Moreno Drive on the night of the murder.
When the woman confronted the suspect, he pointed a gun at her and threatened to take her life. Another person also approached the suspect, who repeated the threat.
The person of interest was described as white and between 20 and 25 years old. He appeared to be 5-foot-9-inches and 180 pounds. He was wearing a multi-colored, camouflage-type hooded sweatshirt and carrying a tan drawstring backpack.
“Detectives would like to speak with him. He’s a person of interest. He’s not a defined suspect at this point,” Beck said.
Police are also looking for missing jewelry, presumably taken from Gatto’s home by the murderer. Gatto, a well-known artist, designed the pieces and had many of them engraved with “JAGatto” and a circular design.
“Here in the City of Angels there’s a devil out there, and we want to find that devil and bring him to justice,” Councilman Tom LaBonge said.
Anyone with information about the case or who has seen the missing jewelry was asked to call Los Angeles police detectives Barry Telis or Chris Gable at (213) 486-6890 or the LAPD’s tip hotline at (877) 527-3247.