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Gang members went to wrong home and killed 3, injured 9 in Halloween party shooting, police say

Family and friends of shooting victims are joined by government officials on Nov. 5 during a traditional Buddhist memorial ceremony in the backyard of a home in Long Beach where three people were killed Halloween night. (Luis Sinco/TNS)

A group of gang members who thought they were about to attack a rival faction was responsible for a shooting at a Halloween party that left three people dead and nine others injured in Long Beach last year, police said Tuesday.

Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said authorities executed 15 search warrants throughout California between Sept. 2 and Friday, capturing 10 suspects connected with the backyard attack in October 2019.

On the night of the shooting, Luna said the suspects met in three vehicles in north Long Beach and drove seven miles to the home near 7th Street and Temple Avenue, where three people opened fire on party-goers. The shooting was motivated by a gang dispute, but the assailants either went to the wrong address or had received bad information about who they were targeting, according to Luna.

“This was a pre-planned attack on what the suspects incorrectly believed to be a party of rival gang members. … None of the victims at that party were gang members,” he said.

The shooting left three men dead: Maurice Poe Jr., 25, of Long Beach; Melvin Williams II, 35, of Gardena; and Ricardo Torres, 28, of Inglewood.

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In all, a dozen men have been arrested in connection with the shooting. Two suspects — Danny Sourn, 26, and Jeremy Penh, 25, — were already in custody in connection with an unrelated homicide, Long Beach police said in a news release.

The suspects arrested in recent days were David Long, 20; Christopher Williams, 28; Ryan Sim, 18; Kaylin Thik, 21; Derrik Mith, 27; Joshua Sam, 41; Grant Johnson, 35; Dara Chhun, 27; Samnang Long, 37; and Andy Prok, 28. All 10 were booked on suspicion of firearm offenses, police said.

Eight suspects are expected to face murder charges, according to Luna, who confirmed three handguns were used in the attack.

The suspects are all members of the Tiny Rascal Gangsters, a Cambodian gang, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Search warrants in the case were executed in Long Beach, Fresno, San Jose, Ontario, Redlands and Spring Valley, police said.

Chanchenda Hou, the owner of the home where the shooting took place, previously said one of the gunman arrived at the party prior to the attack and confronted his 27-year-old son.

“Are you prepared to die tonight?” the man, dressed in all black, asked before running away.

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© 2020 the Los Angeles Times