Nine suspected gang members charged after shooting

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MONTEREY PARK (CNS) – Seven men and two women — all believed to be affiliated with street gangs — have been charged with various crimes, including street terrorism, following a non-injury shooting at a suspected drug and gambling house in Monterey Park, police said today.

Numerous 911 calls were made about 5:30 a.m. on April 15 reporting shots being fired in the area of the 100 block of North New Avenue, according to Lt. Scott Wiese of the Monterey Park Police Department.

“Upon arrival … officers discovered numerous shell casings, bullet holes in buildings and parked cars, but no injured parties,” Wiese said. “The investigation focused on a residence in the 100 block of North New Avenue, where numerous subjects were detained by officers.”

A search warrant served at the home turned up gambling equipment, drugs and identity theft paraphernalia, along with three handguns, Wiese said, adding that four suspects were arrested and booked on suspicion of various crimes.

“Additionally, two stolen vehicles were found parked at the location,” Wiese said. “Video surveillance was reviewed and several suspects and vehicles were seen fleeing the location after the initial shooting call to 911.”

According to a criminal complaint against the suspects, the shooting occurred at a fortified house equipped with surveillance cameras and bars on the windows and doors, that was set up by a gang “so that it could conduct drug sales and an illegal gambling casino.”

One of the vehicles believed to have been used during the shooting was involved in a high speed chase with Los Angeles police on the night of April 17. The California Highway Patrol eventually took over the pursuit, which ended in the area of Hellman Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard in Alhambra, where two suspects were immediately taken into custody and two more arrested after a perimeter search, Wiese said.

Two handguns believed to have been used in the April 15 shooting were recovered, the lieutenant said.

Another suspect was arrested the following night outside his residence in El Monte, Wiese said.

“An additional suspect vehicle, with bullet holes from the initial shooting was recovered from the residence,” he said.

The suspects were identified as Johnny Nguyen, 28; Joseph Lamborn, 25; Robert Phung, 31; Tommy Sour, 28; Tony Sour, 30; AJ Dang, 19; Randall Chinchilla, 30; Iliana Angelica Zepeda, 31; and Diane Monique Gomez, 28.

Lamborn, Phung, Tommy Sour, Tony Sour, Dang and Chinchilla have been charged with attempted murder and shooting into an occupied dwelling or vehicle, among other offenses.

Tommy Sour and Tony Sour, Dang and Zepeda are accused of felony evading arrest, according to Wiese.

Nguyen is suspected of identity theft, possession of narcotics for sale, being armed with a firearm while selling narcotics and selling narcotics from a fortified location. Gomez is accused of conspiracy and identity theft, Wiese said.

All are also accused of being members of criminal street gangs.

All but Lamborn, who was released from custody on April 16 after posting $35,000 bond, remain in custody and are next due in court in Alhambra on Tuesday, when a preliminary hearing date is scheduled to be set.

Police did not say how or if Tony and Tommy Sour are related.

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