Esther Kang

Police seek suspect in fatal Redondo Beach drive-by shooting

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RBPD Cpt. Jeff Hink at a press conference Saturday afternoon.

RBPD Cpt. Jeff Hink at a press conference Saturday afternoon. Photo by Esther Kang

As Redondo Beach police begin piecing together the circumstances surrounding a shooting resulting in the death of a Gardena man Friday night, they are seeking the public’s help in locating a “person of interest.”

Bobby Darren Reynolds, 38, died of multiple gunshot wounds  in what witnesses described as a drive-by shooting.

Police are seeking the whereabouts of Erick Julian Ortega, 27, the registered owner of what detectives believe was the gunman’s getaway vehicle, a silver Chrysler 300. Police  recovered the vehicle a few blocks away from the crime scene.

Ortega, a South Bay native whose current residence is unknown, has prior arrests for robbery and narcotics offenses and has distinctive tattoos covering his head,  said RBPD Cpt. Jeff Hink during a press conference Saturday afternoon.

Police are seeking the whereabouts of Erick Julian Ortega, the registered owner of the gunman's getaway car. His head is covered by a distinctive tattoo of the letters "HA." Courtesy of RBPD

Police are seeking the whereabouts of Erick Julian Ortega, the registered owner of the gunman’s getaway car. His head is covered by a distinctive tattoo of the letters “HA.” Courtesy of RBPD

“It appears in the investigation so far that Mr. Reynolds was targeted,” Hink said. “So we want to find the owner of this car and figure out what he knows about this event.”

Around 8 p.m., Reynolds was standing outside an apartment complex on the 2400 block of Ralston Lane when he was shot multiple times by an unknown gunman. Reynolds was visiting family members and waiting outside for others to arrive, Hink said.

The victim was identified as Bobby Darren Reynolds, a 38-year-old husband, father and resident of Gardena. Courtesy of RBPD

The victim was identified as Bobby Darren Reynolds, a 38-year-old husband, father and resident of Gardena. Courtesy of RBPD

Reynolds, a husband and father, was treated at the scene before being transported to Harbor General Hospital, where he died.

After the crime, the gunman ran to an awaiting Chrysler, which witnesses saw speeding east from the location, according to police. Within minutes of the crime, police found the vehicle abandoned several blocks away in the 2600 block of Spreckels Lane.

Witnesses reported seeing two male Hispanic or white adults fleeing from the car on foot, heading south on Inglewood Avenue, according to police. The suspects, described as in their early 20s, were last seen wearing an Oakland Raiders shirt and a white T-shirt.

While police have not determined a motive or a relation between Reynolds and Ortega, if any, they believe the murder was premeditated due to the nature of the shooting. Hink said Reynolds was shot from within just several feet.

“According to our investigation so far, it appears as though Reynolds was specifically targeted,” Hink said. “This was not a random act. Reynolds was defenseless, he was shot in cold blood several times.”

Hink said it’s too early to speculate on  whether the crime was gang-related, although police believe Ortega may had “some involvement with gangs” in the past. He said police will be “looking at those aspects” as they delve deeper into both of their backgrounds.

“It’s a murder in Redondo Beach, and we don’t have many murders in this city,” Hink said after the press conference. “So we’ve committed every available resource to solving this crime.”

Erick Julian Ortega, who police are calling a "person of interest" in Friday night's shooting in Redondo Beach. Photo courtesy RBPD

Erick Julian Ortega, who police are calling a “person of interest” in Friday night’s shooting in Redondo Beach. Photo courtesy RBPD

Ortega is described as 5-foot-6-inches tall,  160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He is known to frequent Redondo Beach. According to police, he has  a tattoo of a marijuana leaf on his right arm; a naked woman on his right shoulder; the initials “HA” on his head; “Padre Pardon me,” a cross, “Redondo Beach” and “father forgive me” on his chest;  “bitch please” on his neck; “Redondo how do you want it” on his abdomen, and a clown on his left shoulder.

Anyone with information about Ortega should contact the Redondo Beach Police Department at (310) 937-6685 or  at crimetips@redondo.org. ER

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