Gallery: Redondo Beach Police Release Murder Victim and Suspect Identity
Police identified a "person of interest" Saturday that they want to question in the slaying of a Gardena man ambushed and shot to death outside a Redondo Beach apartment building.
Erick Julian Ortega, a heavily-tattooed 27-year-old South Bay man with the phrase "Redondo how do you want it" across his stomach, has a criminal record that includes convictions for robbery, making threats to kill someone, resisting arrest, drug possession and being a felon in possession of ammunition, records show.
Ortega's Chrysler 300 was found abandoned just blocks away from Friday night's homicide scene at Lilienthal and Ralston lanes, Redondo Beach police Capt. Jeff Hink said.
Two men fled in the car after a gunman shot Bobby Darren Reynolds, 38, as he stood at 8 p.m. outside an apartment building while visiting family. The gunman appeared to specifically target Reynolds, a husband and father, Hink said.
"Mr. Reynolds was completely defenseless," Hink said. "This was a cold-blooded heartless attack."
Witnesses told police the gunman ran to a the Chrysler and sped away. The car was found later in the 2600 block of Spreckels Lane. The men appeared to be in their 20s. One wore an Oakland Raiders shirt, and the other was in a white shirt. They walked away south on Inglewood Avenue.
The motive was not immediately known. It also was not clear whether the shooter was lying-in-wait, pulled up to the scene or followed Reynolds, police said.
Police officers responding to reports of gunshots found the man lying in front of the apartment building. Blood stains Saturday and orange spray paint marked the spot where Reynolds collapsed. Hink said he was shot several times at close range.
Paramedics treated Reynolds at the scene. He died at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance.
"Redondo Beach Police Department detectives are actively investigating this murder," Hink said. "It appears that the victim was specifically targeted and that the shooting was not a random event."
Ortega was described as Latino, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He has numerous tattoos: A marijuana leaf on his right arm; a naked woman on his right shoulder; the letters 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 stomach; and a clown on his left shoulder.
A photograph of Ortega kissing a woman showed his head to be virtually covered with tattoos. He has an association with a gang, police said.
Court records show his crimes were committed from 2004 to 2012.
Hink said Reynolds did not have a criminal record. Police released photographs showing him with his wife, and a son and daughter.
Police asked anyone with information about the crime to call detectives at 310-379-2477 or the Redondo Beach Police Department tip line at 310-937-6685. Tips also can be texted to 310-339-2362 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.