HIGHLAND PARK (CBSLA.com) — A 19-year-old man who may have been recently released in a prison realignment program may have gone on to murder and steal in northeast Los Angeles.
Rasheem Childs faces 15 felony counts of murder, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and having waged a string of armed robberies, according to a felony complaint.
Gonzalo Garcia, a 31-year-old clerk, was fatally shot during one of the robberies at a 7-Eleven in Highland Park.
The felony complaint names Childs as a suspect in the murder and in a string of armed robberies that included stores in Lincoln Heights and Boyle Heights.
Highland Park residents have started a memorial for Garcia outside the convenience store where he was shot.
“He was a good guy. I remember seeing him on multiple occasions,” a 7-Eleven customer said of Garcia. “He was a real cool guy, very polite, always wore the same Dodgers hat.”
A source told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Suraya Fadel that Childs may have been released early through California’s controversial AB 109 prison realignment program. The California Department of Corrections and the LAPD have not confirmed this.
Childs was arrested this past year for another felony in Compton and within months was back on the streets.
He has an extensive criminal history and known to have gang ties.
Those who knew Garcia feel that if the suspect had been kept in custody then Garcia might still be alive.
“If they could have kept him in for longer to save someone’s life then definitely, it’s not good to know that,” the 7-Eleven customer said.