Four Charged in Murder of Long Beach Army Veteran – Suspects Arrested in Tragic Shooting Incident

LONG BEACH, California – Four individuals have been taken into custody and charged in connection with the tragic loss of a Long Beach father and Army veteran. The suspects have been identified as Taylor Byron Woods, aged 20, from Bellflower; Semaj Lamar O’Brien, aged 21, from Long Beach; Jordan Omarion Stokes, aged 18, from Long Beach; and Tyrell DeShawn Louden Jr., aged 20, from Indio. They are facing charges for the murder of Mario Morales-Moreno, aged 51, and the attempted murder of four others in Long Beach, as announced by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón during a press conference on Thursday.

The incident transpired on April 4, when Morales-Moreno was engaged in yard work outside his residence on the corner of 61st Street and Atlantic Avenue. A stray bullet struck him, resulting in his untimely demise. Shirin Senegal, an eyewitness from an office across the victim’s home, vividly recalls the harrowing experience of hearing gunshots and witnessing the tragic aftermath.

Upon responding to the scene, officers found Morales-Moreno and another individual with gunshot wounds. Sadly, Morales-Moreno succumbed to his injuries while the second victim was transported to a local hospital in stable condition. Authorities determined that multiple gunshots were fired at the victims, with indications pointing towards a gang-related motive behind the shooting, indicating that Morales-Moreno may not have been the intended target.

The suspects also face allegations of shooting at four additional individuals, whose identities have not been disclosed. Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson expressed condolences for the loss, emphasizing that gang violence has no place in their community and must be vehemently condemned.

Charged with murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit a crime, the four suspects are being held on $8 million bail. Further accusations suggest premeditated and deliberate intent in the murder, with two of the suspects – Stokes and Louden Jr. – purportedly utilizing a handgun in the crime. Conviction on all charges could lead to a potential life sentence for the suspects, with an arraignment hearing scheduled for April 25.

Family, friends, and community members gathered in honor of Morales-Moreno on April 5, remembering him as a cherished husband, Army veteran, and devoted father. His daughter, Fernanda Sandoval, described him as an American hero and emphasized his profound impact on those around him.

In the pursuit of justice, law enforcement urges anyone with information on the shooting to contact Homicide Detectives Eric Thai or Kelsey Myers. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers for assistance in resolving this tragic incident.