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Long Beach police arrest four people in gang-related shooting that left 51-year-old veteran dead

Long Beach police on Wednesday announced the arrests of four people in the April 4 shooting that left one man dead and another injured.

The shooting happened just before 7 p.m. in the 600 block of 61st Street, where officers were stationed two men were found with gunshot wounds.

Mario Morales-Moreno.

One man was taken to hospital in stable condition. The other man, 51-year-old Mario Morales-Moreno, died at the scene. Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson called Morales-Moreno a local veteran and resident of North Long Beach. Police said they did not believe Moreno was the intended target of the shooting.

During the shooting investigation, detectives determined that the shooter fired “numerous shots in the direction of the victims.”

Police arrested Taylor Byron Woods, a 20-year-old Bellflower resident, the night of the shooting and was booked on one count of murder.

On Saturday, Jordan Omarion Stokes, an 18-year-old Long Beach resident, was arrested by Gardena police for weapons violations. Long Beach Police Department detectives took Stokes into custody three days later, where he was booked on one count of murder.

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Semaj Lamar Obrien, a 21-year-old Long Beach resident, was arrested Monday and charged with murder.

Tyrell Deshawn Louden, a 20-year-old Indio resident, was booked on one count of murder. Louden was arrested Tuesday by the Riverside Sheriff’s Department in the city of Indio and transported to the Long Beach City Jail.

During the arrests, officers found multiple firearms and other evidence. Bail for all four suspects was set at $2 million each.

Homicide detectives believe the motive is gang related, but the investigation remains ongoing.

“Our hearts remain heavy as we sympathize with the family and loved ones of Mario Morales-Moreno,” Richardson said. “Gang violence has no place in our community and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”

Kristi Wyffels, a friend and neighbor of Morales-Moreno, set up a GoFundMe page on behalf of the family, writing that he was “a fixture in our North Long Beach neighborhood, always looking out for others and helping anyone in need.”

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Wyffels wrote that Morales-Moreno is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. By Wednesday, more than $15,000 had been raised.

“Even if they have someone, that won’t bring him back,” said Elsa Morales, Mario’s wife. “I just hope that justice is good for him and I know he is not here to fight for himself, but we are here and we will do our best so that he can get justice.”

Mario Morales-Moreno.

Morales-Moreno’s family spoke with KCAL News on Wednesday, where they remembered their father as a man you could go to for anything.

“He stopped what he was doing and put other people before him because that was just the man he was,” Morales-Moreno’s son said.

While they are still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy, they are grateful for the outpouring of support they have received.

“Everyone says, you know, your dad was so friendly, he always waved,” said Fernanda Sandoval, Morales-Moreno’s daughter. “A simple wave to everyone meant so much, and everyone has a story that he waved.”

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