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Los Angeles "man" is killed when "apparent" robbery goes wrong

Originally ran here as:
"Los Angeles man is killed when apparent robbery goes wrong"
by Gene Maddaus
Los Angeles Times
December 25, 2001

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA -- In Rancho Cucamonga, one man died, another was injured and arrested and a third got away after a shootout with an guard Sunday night.

Three gunmen tried to rob the Golden Body massage parlor, 9554 Foothill Blvd., shortly after 7 p.m., San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies said.

As they were herding five employees and two customers into the back, they encountered an armed security guard, Sgt. Bobby Dean said.

The guard traded gunfire with the men. One of the gunmen, Francisco Rojas, 37, of Los Angeles was shot and died at the scene.

Another suspect, Gerardo Reyes, 39, of Baldwin Park, was wounded and ran away. He allegedly stole a car belonging to a nearby resident and forced the driver to take him to Baldwin Park.

The carjacking victim was released after letting the man out near his family's home, Dean said. Reyes' family called for an ambulance and he was taken to St. Francis General Hospital in Lywood, Dean said.

Detectives found him there and took him to the jail ward of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where he is recovering from his injuries.

A third man was not arrested. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's homicide detail at 387-3589.

The guard was not hurt.

A 27-year-old Huntington Park woman was shot and was taken to Arrowhead.

Dean said she was an employee, but she said she was there visiting a friend.

The victim said, in Spanish, that two men entered the parlor with small silver handguns and told everyone to put their hands up. They threatened to kill anyone who didn't cooperate, she said.

She said she did not know why they began firing their guns, but said she was hit in the hip and fell to the floor.

She was on the floor when the guard shot the robbers and didn't see it happen, she said.

Though she was listed in good condition Monday, she said she was in pain.

"I can't move below the waist," she said.

Reyes was booked at the jail ward on suspicion of robbery and felony murder.

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