By Mark Lipman
On the evening of December 8, a fatal shooting occurred in the alleyway behind 1600 Lincoln Blvd.
The victim, Philimon Ernesto Consequa, known as “Cheripenga,” was originally from Oaxaca, Mexico. No further information was available.
Though it is not clear if a gun was found, police detectives did find a single .45 caliber cartridge on the scene.
Upon interviewing the main witness to the crime, who we will refer to as “John,” The Beachhead discovered the following facts in the case:
When John came home at approximately 5:30pm, he saw three Latino males with shopping carts – the usual crowd – in the alley. It was not clear if alcohol was involved or not, yet one of the three had apparently passed out on a medium size black sheeted mattress. The other two were talking a little further down.
At 7:40pm, John was sitting down, working on his computer, when suddenly he heard the sound of what could only be gun fire – a single shot. Looking out from his window, he could see that there were now two men lying upon the mattress, where as there was only one two hours before. The third was standing next to the mattress.
“Psst … psst…” he was waving to the man lying on the far end, trying to get him to wake up. Stirring, one of the men groggily awoke, lifted himself up, urinated, then stumbled over to his shopping cart and left, oblivious to what had just happened.
The third man then readjusted the victim’s body so that it would be fully on the mattress, then himself left on a bicycle.
Leaving his house, John witnessed the bloody scene and then followed the suspect down to Lincoln Dental. Taking a photograph of the man he then asked, “Hey , what happened to your buddy?”
“I don’t know. I know nothing,” was the reply.
Returning home, John immediately called 9-1-1. Within 2 minutes a police helicopter was hovering overhead. “They put the spotlight on me,” John says, “and followed to where I was pointing – to the dead guy on the mattress. Within 30 second ten police cars were there.” The time was 7:55pm.
Forensic teams worked for hours through the night measuring out and photographing the crime scene. From examination of the evidence left behind The Beachhead found that the victim had been shot in the head.
Upon sweeping the area, one Latino on a bicycle was stopped and questioned at Ralphs and two others in a nearby park, all fitting the description. They were all released.
The next morning, around 9am, police had another three suspects in custody. Upon visual identification, two were released and the third was held as a positive match.
It is important to note that John did not see the shot or the gun. In his account he states that he sensed there was a fourth person present, who was blocked from his view.
It was later learned that the police do suspect that another person, a housed resident, was at the scene at the time of the murder, which would make sense, since it is doubtful that a homeless person living out of a shopping cart would be able to acquire such an expensive handgun.
Another unidentified source, familiar with the victim reported that there had been a conversation just before the shooting in which it was said, “If you’re so angry, why don’t you shoot something?” at which point the murderer shot the victim.
On December 12, LAPD obtained a warrant for the arrest of one Noe Rodriguez in connection with the shooting.
Police detectives were not immediately available for comment.