A man who authorities described as a serial killer who targeted victims at random in 2014, including a couple who was shot at in West Hollywood, was convicted on May 25 of five counts of first-degree murder and 11 counts of attempted murder.
The defendant, Alexander Hernandez, 42, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8 and faces life in prison without parole. He was convicted on all counts for a crime spree in August 2014 that caused fear in communities throughout Los Angeles.
Among the murders were the shooting of a man whose body was found in March 2014 in his vehicle near the 210 Freeway in Sylmar. Hernandez also shot a man in April 2014 in the San Fernando Valley, and the victim recovered. The victim of a May 14, 2014, shooting attributed to Hernandez in Northridge was partially paralyzed, authorities said.
On Aug. 20, 2014, Hernandez fired a shotgun from his vehicle while he was driving on the Golden State (5) Freeway in Atwater Village, hitting a 42-year-old victim who was also driving on the freeway. The victim was struck in the shoulder and survived.
Two days later, authorities said he fired a shotgun at a couple in West Hollywood. Authorities said the victims were driving southbound on Highland Avenue on Aug. 22, 2014, when they noticed an SUV pull alongside them. After turning on Santa Monica Boulevard, the couple noticed the vehicle following them with its headlights turned off. The couple turned on Gardner Street, where the SUV driver fired three shots and drove away. The shots missed and the victims were uninjured.
On Aug. 24, Hernandez shot and killed three victims during a crime spree in the northern San Fernando Valley. He also shot and killed three dogs.
Police linked Hernandez to the crimes through witness descriptions of his vehicle, and arrested him on Aug. 24, 2014, at his residence in Pacoima. Police located a shotgun when they searched his residence.
Authorities did not establish a motive for the crimes. Many of the shootings occurred as Hernandez was driving through different parts of the city. The criminal case lasted for years because of questions raised about the defendant’s mental competency and changes to possible sentencing.
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