James Shamp, a 48-year-old black man, was shot in the chest and killed Monday Dec. 22, 2008, as he was taking out the trash at Canoga Bowl, where he worked. Authorities say the killing was racially motivated.
Los Angeles police said gang members pulled up in a car behind the bowling alley, in the 6800 block of Winnetka Avenue. One of the men pulled out a gun and fatally shot Shamp, pictured at left, in the chest, said LAPD homicide Det. David Peteque. Shamp was pronounced dead at the scene.
"Most shootings we have can be related to narcotics and gang-related," Peteque said. "But this was a family man — he was a father of two, a good husband. He was at work doing his job, and he was basically gunned down."
In January 2009, Richard Bordelon, 21, and Martin Sotelo, 23, whom authorities identified as members of the Canoga Park Alabama Gang, were each charged with one count of murder and conspiracy to commit a crime because of race. Each man was also charged with one count of attempted second-degree robbery arising from a separate incident.
Additionally, Sotelo was charged with one count of unlawful driving or taking a vehicle and one count of evading an officer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
A third suspect, 15, was charged in Juvenile Court with intentionally committing murder because of race, street gang killing and discharging a weapon, district attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
All three suspects have pleaded not guilty.
Police have not provided details about how they determined that the killing was racially motivated.
"We're 100 % sure of it, but we cannot disclose how we know that right now," Peteque said.
— Ruben Vives