Homicides in the Greater Koreatown Area

City Council has designated Koreatown’s formal borders as Western, Olympic, Vermont, and 3rd, with a business corridor on Western from 3rd to Rosewood. Locals’ use of the term “Greater Koreatown” refers to a larger area extending to Melrose, Virgil, Pico and Wilton, and even slightly beyond into parts of Silver Lake, East Hollywood, Westlake, Pico-Union, Harvard Heights, Wilshire Park, and Country Club.

The list below is in the process of being completed.

April 30, 2014

Reported homicide at Wilshire & Burlington in Westlake, east of Koreatown proper, at 1:15 pm. A passing motorcyclist was shot dead in the crossfire of a gang shooting by the Home Depot.

April 29, 2014

Filed report of a homicide / criminal murder in the 100 block of South Oxford Avenue in North Koreatown, at 12:25 pm.

April 16, 2014

Filed report of a homicide / criminal murder in the 700 block of South Mariposa Avenue in South Koreatown, at 7:00 am.

February 2014

Clay Casey is shot dead after his son’s performance at Rooftop 3100.

January 2014

Jonathan “Kid” Villamizar, 19, and Alexander “Frosty” Veleche, 24, are shot dead on 3rd & Normandie.

November 2013

Koreatown resident Randall Kreeger is found dead in an East Hollywood dumpster.

August 2013

LAPD shoot dead a man who allegedly fired upon officers on Pico near Mariposa, just south of Koreatown proper. He has not been identified.

July 2013

Juan Diaz Chavez, a Marine veteran and avid police supporter working as a security guard, is shot dead by LAPD outside a church in the 1800 block of West Pico Boulevard in Pico-Union, just southeast of Koreatown. His assailants have been identified as gang-enforcement officers Fernando Flores and Alfredo Aguay who were not in uniform during the encounter.

April 27, 2013

A 90-year-old male Korean bike rider is struck and killed in a hit-and-run on Virgil & 6th, just east of Koreatown proper, at around 5:10 am. The victim has been identified as Joo Yoon. The suspect has not been identified.

April 17, 2013

Kallen Mahone is shot dead at approximately 1:15 a.m. in the 800 block of S. Gramercy Drive, near 8th Street. Mahone was approached by a man who pulled out a gun and shot him multiple times. Oriiginally from Kansas, Mahone moved to Koreatown within the last year and resided in an apartment near the location where the shooting occurred. No suspect has been identified.

April 5, 2013 

Mark Thomas Couturier dies after being tasered by LAPD officers on the 400 block of North Vermont Avenue in North Koreatown. His assailants, from Central Division, have not been publicly identified.

March 19, 2013

Cornelius Rich, a 62-year-old black man, was found murdered in the 500 block of Kingsley Drive. Also known as Andre Dupree, he died from blunt-force trauma in his apartment.

August 4, 2012

Vadim Kogan, a 48-year-old white man, dies three days after being beaten in the 4300 block of West 3rd Street by an unidentified male.

May 2012

A bike rider is shot dead on the corner of New Hampshire and San Marino Streets at around 1:30 p.m.

April 2012

Sam Michel, 25, was repeatedly stabbed in the back until he died, after letting his eventual murderer into his apartment at 814 S. Serrano Street 2:00 in the morning.

February 2012

Carjacking suspect Shonchy Thaopraseuth, 22, of San Bernardino, is killed by a barrage of more than 60 police bullets at the gas station on Wilshire & Vermont.

October 2011

Ricardo Lopez, a 23-year-old Latino, was shot and killed in the 700 block of South Berendo Street in the early hours of the morning.

May 28, 2011

Joshua Santos, a 19-year-old Latino, dies being stabbed during a fight in the 100 block of North Mariposa Avenue.

November 2010

An 81-year-old woman was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street at around 2:30 a.m. at Olympic and Harvard. The victim has been identified as Gae-Sum Park.

July 2010

Murder-suicide involving a 51-year-old Korean man and his landlord.

March 2010

Autistic black man Steven Washington is murdered in the 800 block of Vermont Avenue by the LAPD. He was unarmed and not a gang member.

Steven Washington & LAPD in Koreatown LA

August 2009

Ching Tseng, a 35-year-old Asian man, was shot and robbed in the 3300 block of West 6th Street and died later at the hospital. He had been approached by a man described as a Latino in his mid-20s. at about 6 a.m. The suspect demanded Tseng’s money and vehicle, then shot Tseng and fled to a waiting car with three additional suspects, two males and one female.

June 2009

A customer is shot dead by another customer right outside M2 Karaoke Bar on 6th Street, two blocks west of Western Avenue. Louis Lee, 22, of Rowland Heights, shot and killed Michael Kim at 2:30 a.m. Lee was arrested a few hours later.

January 2010

Bennett Bradley, a director and producer at East Hollywood’s Fountain Theater, is stabbed to death by his lover Jose Fructuoso inside their Koreatown apartment. Fructuoso said he and Bradley had a sexual relationship going back around nine years, to when Fructuoso was 16 years old. The conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeal in April 2013.

November 2008

Unarmed black man Dontaze Storey, 29 years old, is killed by two LAPD officers on the northwest corner of 3rd & New Hampshire. He was hit by bullets in his leg, chest, and mouth as his pregnant fiancée and neighbors helplessly watched.

October 2008

Homeless man John Robert McGraham is doused with gasoline and burned to death on 3rd & Berendo by Ben Martin, an employee at a nearby barbership.

May 2007

Korean love-triangle ends in a murder suicide at Suhrabal Korean BBQ Restaurant at 100 S. Western Avenue.

February 2003

Mysterious homicide of a female Korean in the 1200 block of Fedora Street. The suspect was arrested and identified as Sung-Yeol Yoon.

Triple Shooting by Wilshire & Vermont; One Dead

At around 12:17 am Sunday, residents in the area of Wilshire / Vermont / Shatto / 7th reported hearing approximately six gunshots on the eastern edge of Koreatown’s formal borders.

The sounds turned out to be actual shots fired, with 49-year-old Clay Casey Sr. dying on scene from his wounds and two female victims taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Clay Casey Sr.: Koreatown Shooting Victim
Clay Casey Sr.: February 2014 Shooting Victim

The victims were family members of Rico Sheen, who had just performed with Young Dro at the Rooftop 3100 nightclub at 659 South Westmoreland Avenue. Sheen’s father, his mother, and his cousin were ambushed as they were leaving the venue in an SUV.

Young Dro with Rico Sheen at Rooftop 3100

The gunman, identified as Tremayne Ware and described to be in his mid-30s, was caught nearby with his firearm after being struck by a vehicle as he was running away.

This incident follows the shooting on Mariposa by Pico, just south of Koreatown’s formal borders this past Wednesday (February 5th) . There was one injury in that incident, which was classified as an ADW or assault with a deadly weapon.

On January 20th, two men were shot dead on 3rd & Normandie at 1:52 pm. Those were the first homicides of the year for the Koreatown area.

Because this is breaking news, updates will be added to this page as they become available.

Koreatown Resident’s Corpse Found in East Hollywood Dumpster

Randall Scott Kreeger, a 49-year-old resident of Koreatown, was last seen alive at his home in the 3300 block of James M. Wood Boulevard on Saturday, November 23, at around 11:00 a.m.

3348 James M. Wood Blvd

The following day at 3:25 p.m., his friends reported him missing when he did not show up to a social event.  They had visited his home where they saw blood and some furniture out of place in an obvious scene of foul play.

Fountain & Vine, where Kreeger’s car was found.

Kreeger’s car was later located by the corner of Fountain Avenue and Vine Avenue in Hollywood, and the occupants in the car were detained. His body was eventually found inside a trash dumpster in the 1800 block of Garfield Place in East Hollywood.

1800 block of Garfield Place in East Hollywood

Merdan Haydarov, a 19-year-old resident of Hollywood and a native of Turkmenistan, was arrested and booked on a murder charge with bail set at $1,000,000. The motive for the killing appears to have been robbery.

Kreeger has been described by the coroner’s office as a white male with brown hair and gray eyes.  He stood 6 feet tall and weighed 165 pounds. His date of death appears likely to have been November 23 (Saturday).