LAPD releases sketches of road rage suspect

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LAPD composite images of road rage suspect. (Photo credit: LAPD)

LAPD composite images of road rage suspect. (Photo credit: LAPD)

Detectives have released two sketches of the same suspect who shot into a red Kia, killing the 22-year-old driver on July 13, 2013. Detectives have characterized the incident as road rage.

“The sketches are similar, described separately to an artist by the two passengers in the Kia,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division.  “The sketches depict the wanted shooter who is in his early 20s, with distinctly green eyes.”

The shooting occurred last Saturday just after 3 p.m. as the two cars passed under the 5 Freeway on Branford Avenue.  According to witnesses, a single shot came from the green-eyed Hispanic driver of a gray Dodge Challenger as he passed the Kia on the right. Richard Eduardo Ruiz of North Hollywood was hit and died hours later at a local hospital. His two companions were uninjured.

Detectives have received several tips on the gray Dodge Challenger, which is an RT model with custom rims. “We’re running down all the clues, and we hope these sketches might jog a few more memories or associations,” Lt. Vernon said.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Ryan Verna, Mission Homicide Unit, at (818) 838-9976. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

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