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Posted: 3/29/2006 10:24:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2006 4:39:54 PM EDT by warlord]
latimes.com

From the Los Angeles Times

Off-Duty Deputy Is Killed

Her body is found in a Long Beach driveway. Sheriff Baca says it may have been an accident.
By Richard Winton and Nancy Wride
Times Staff Writers

March 29, 2006

An off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was killed outside a Long Beach home Tuesday in what Sheriff Lee Baca said may have been an accidental shooting.

Maria Cecelia Rosa, 30, a six-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, may have inadvertently discharged her own service weapon as she was placing equipment in her car before work, Baca said. But the case remains under investigation and homicide has not been ruled out, he said.

Rosa was found slumped over the open trunk of her car in the driveway of a friend's home in the 2900 block of Eucalyptus Avenue in the early morning with a gunshot wound to her upper body, police said. Her discharged weapon lay before her in the trunk.

She was transported to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Baca said that the position of Rosa's body and the condition of her gun suggest an accident.

"My hope is it is an accidental discharge," Baca said. "The body was in a position to add some credence to that. The investigation is still ongoing."

Long Beach police, who are in charge of the investigation, were more cautious, saying that further investigation and an autopsy are needed to determine what happened.

"It honestly is not clear what did occur," Long Beach Police Sgt. David Cannan said. "At this point we are not ruling any possibility out, from an accidental shooting to a premeditated murder."

Long Beach police said dispatchers received an "officer down" call made from inside the Wrigley neighborhood home about 6 a.m. Moments after finding Rosa wounded in the driveway, officers swarmed the area and conducted house-to-house searches.

Resident Linda Vizcarra said the sound of fire engines awoke her at "6ish" and police came knocking. "They checked my car and told us we wouldn't be able to leave right away," said Vizcarra, a third-grade teacher.

Rosa, who lived in Pomona, worked at the county jail's Inmate Reception Center.

She had been staying with a longtime friend, a fellow sheriff's deputy, and was dressed in casual clothing when the shooting occurred, police said.

A family member identified Rosa's friend as Det. Jenny Martin. Rosa frequently stayed in Martin's three-bedroom stucco home, said Martha Esquivias, Martin's sister.

Esquivias said Rosa's and Martin's families were acquainted, and that the two had known each other before they became deputies. The home is also shared by Martin's nephew, Eder Gonzalez, 23, she said.

A native of Sonora, Mexico, Rosa graduated from high school in Gilroy, Calif., in 1993 and joined the Sheriff's Department seven years later, according to deputies. Like many new deputies, she was assigned to jails, working in the area where inmates are received and released.

Family and friends, some of whom huddled just beyond the police tape that blocked entry to Eucalyptus Avenue, said they knew her as "Sessy." They described her as pretty, warm and engaging.

"She was really fun, really outgoing, really friendly," said Armando Garcia, 38, who saw a helicopter shot of the crime scene and came to the street.

Rosa is survived by three brothers and two sisters, deputies said.

Baca called the death a tragedy and said the department was mourning the family's loss.

Rosa was the second L.A. County sheriff's deputy to die in less than a week. On Thursday, Deputy Pierre Bain, 45, a 14-year veteran of the force, was killed in an on-duty motorcycle accident in Lancaster.

Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times

partners: KTLA Hoy
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:38:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2006 4:39:00 PM EDT by warlord]
Update - the motive by Long Beach PD has ruled out accidental discharge, new possible motive is robbery. The LBPD is now seekng 2 latin males in the late teens or early 20s wearing a dark sweat shirt. She was shot twice with 22 caliber bullets.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:42:51 PM EDT
How could they think it was an accidental discharge if she had two .22 holes in her what kind of sherriff carrys a .22?

Just my opinion though...
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:54:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 6:25:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 7:55:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 8:31:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GreenM4Guy:
How could they think it was an accidental discharge if she had two .22 holes in her what kind of sherriff carrys a .22?

Just my opinion though...


Don't know. The L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca first announced it late yesterday about this possible scenario, and today a news conference 6pm the LBPD chief said that she was shot 2 times with a 22 caliber bullet.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 9:09:08 PM EDT
Somebody making the news before they had hard info.

RIP Deputy
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 7:42:52 AM EDT
Here is an update from the LA Times.
=========================================================
latimes.com

From the Los Angeles Times
Deputy's Death Was No Accident
The jail employee who at first was believed to have accidentally shot herself in Long Beach is a crime victim, baffled detectives now say.
By Richard Winton and Nancy Wride
Times Staff Writers

March 30, 2006

Detectives were trying to unravel a mystery Wednesday after concluding that a sheriff's deputy originally thought to have accidentally shot herself in the driveway of a Long Beach home was actually killed by someone else.

Maria Cecilia Rosa, 30, was found by a newspaper deliveryman slumped over the trunk of her car just before 6 a.m. Tuesday with her service handgun lying near her body. Rosa, dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, was on her way to work at the Los Angeles County Jail after spending the night at the home of a fellow deputy in a quiet, middle-class section of Long Beach's Wrigley district.

The position of Rosa's body and its proximity to the gun led authorities to initially suspect that the gun somehow went off, perhaps as she was opening the trunk of her car. But ballistics tests found that her gun had not been fired, and an examination of her body found at least two bullet wounds from a .22-caliber gun.

Authorities now say that one or more assailants approached her — perhaps when her back was turned.

"It was a coldblooded killing. She didn't have a chance to defend herself," Sheriff Lee Baca said. "Here is a person going to work at quarter to 6 in the morning in a quiet neighborhood. You expect the streets to be devoid of criminal activity. Who is truly safe? The answer is no one."

Long Beach police detectives said they found no connection to her work so far.

At the jail, Rosa did clerical work and had little contact with inmates. She had stayed at the home of Det. Jenny Martin, a narcotics investigator in the Compton station.

But with so little to go on, officials said, they are looking at everything and asking the public for help.

"We are not ruling out any motives," said Long Beach Police Chief Anthony Batts. "We will not stop until we follow up on every lead that's possible."

Authorities said robbery might have been involved, and they are searching for two young men seen riding in the neighborhood on bicycles at the time of the shooting. But Batts stressed that detectives don't know whether they were involved in the slaying and have no evidence of a robbery.

More than 30 officers spent Tuesday night and Wednesday morning canvassing the neighborhood but came up with relatively few clues.

While some neighbors in the 2900 block of Eucalyptus Avenue said they heard gunshots, no one witnessed the shooting. Neighbor Erica Moreno said she heard four shots fired about 5:50 a.m. and two more shots a minute later. Another neighbor a few doors away said she heard two shots.

They said the neighborhood is generally safe except for occasional burglaries.

"To look at the neighborhood it looks quiet and peaceful. But I guess sometimes things do happen," said Terrence McKinley, 47, whose house has been burglarized twice in five years.

Rachel Mejia, 21, said that when officers came to her home Tuesday, they noticed a screen on a bathroom had been bent and a chair was positioned to enable someone to get in. The officers told the family it was probably a burglary attempt.

At the mint-colored home where Rosa was killed, a blooming yellow daisy and a bouquet of peach-colored roses in cellophane lay near the brick path to the lockable steel screen door Wednesday.

Rosa, described as engaging, fun and pretty by friends, had been with the department six years. She was born in Sonora, Mexico, and grew up in Gilroy before attending Long Beach City College.

She lived in Pomona but often stayed at the home of Martin, a longtime friend whose family comes from Tepatitlan, a city outside Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Mexican town was where their parents were born, and the families often celebrate weddings, funerals, graduations and other social events together. Martin and Rosa had been friends before they went through the sheriff's training academy together.

"She was really fun, really outgoing, really friendly," said Armando Garcia, 38, a friend. "She loved ranchera music."

Sheriff's homicide Capt. Ray Peavy said he met Rosa last year and took an instant liking to her.

"She was very bubbly and excited about her work," he said. "You can tell she really enjoyed her work."

One of the few solid clues detectives have to go on is the description of the two young men on bikes.

One of them was said to be wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

An abandoned bicycle was found near the shooting scene, but it was unclear whether it was related to the case.

Peavy said the slaying is perplexing — and it's too early to know whether the shooting was random.

But Baca vowed action.

"We aren't going to rest until her killer or killers are brought to justice," he said.

*

Times staff writer Michelle Keller contributed to this report.

Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times

partners: KTLA Hoy
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 8:00:09 AM EDT
RIP Deputy
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 8:05:16 AM EDT
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