A California father of three was shot dead days before Christmas by a burglar he and other neighbors chased down in a Los Angeles suburb.
Joey Casias, 38, was killed in Covina, about 20 miles outside L.A., where homicide figures have soared 52 percent in the past two years and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon is under fire for his soft-on-crime policies.
Police said the trouble began December 21 about 11 pm, when ‘multiple neighbors’ on the city’s 1100 block of North Charter spotted a man stealing from a parked car. They followed him about a half a mile away to the 1800 block of East Covina Boulevard.
When the bandit was confronted, he pulled out a gun and fired several rounds, fatally wounding Casias, who was a UPS driver and Boy Scouts’ leader police said.
The crime happened as criticism mounts around Gason, who continues to be called out for a zero-bail policy that some critics say is exacerbating the region’s crime problems by freeing criminals to offend safe in the knowledge they’ll be straight back on the streets after
Police arrested suspected murderer Trevor Howard Thompson, 32, on December 22 following a standoff that lasted hours.
Covina Police Department Lt. Ryan Davis said Thompson was known to police, but he couldn’t elaborate on past interactions cops had with the suspected gunman, or how recently he’d last fallen afoul of the law.
The Christmastime killing left the victims’ family facing some gut-wrenching questions from Casias’ children.
‘My granddaughter, when I put her to bed, said ‘please don’t tell me my daddy’s not going to be here for Christmas,’ Lydia Casias, the victim’s mother, told NBC Los Angeles ‘It broke my heart.’
The victim’s sister added: ‘My nephew broke my heart: “Who’s going to play football with me? Who’s going to Disneyland? How do I answer those questions to a seven-year-old?
Gascon has been a lightening rod for criticism amid Los Angeles County’s crime surge, with some blaming his soft prosecutorial approach for incentivizing criminals.
Earlier this month, the head of a union that represents roughly 1,000 Los Angeles County prosecutors slammed Gascon for keeping mum despite the recent string of smash-and-grab robberies plaguing Southern California.
Gascon, one of many ‘woke’ DAs bankrolled by billionaire Democrat donor George Soros, has survived one recall effort and faces another that was launched December 6 after he was accused of being soft on crime.
‘He’s created an atmosphere devoid of accountability,’ said Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, during an appearance on Fox News on Monday.
The union head’s comments come as organized groups of thieves continue to terrorize cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, brazenly looting retail stores for thousands of dollars-worth of goods, often in front of customers and staff.
Gascon’s silence in the face of the lawlessness has only infuriated his critics.