Man charged with murder in fatal Long Beach shooting

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One man has been charged with murder in the apparent gang-related shooting death of a 33-year-old man in Long Beach, the District Attorney’s Office reported today.

Juan Cruz Lopez Jr., 20, of Long Beach, was charged Friday in the June 29 killing of Soktear Phuy. Lopez is also facing three counts of attempted murder stemming from an incident that occurred two days prior to the fatal attack, as well as an allegation that he personally used a gun.

Two other men — Brandon Conrad Garcia, 23, of Hawaiian Gardens, and Andrew Miranda, 29 — are charged alongside Lopez in the three attempted murders on June 27 and are also facing gun allegations. Garcia is facing an additional attempted murder count related to a June 28 incident, according to the District Attorney’s Office, which could not immediately provide additional detail on the circumstances of any of the attempted murders.

All three men appeared in a Long Beach courtroom last week but did not enter pleas. They are scheduled to be arraigned on July 28.

The fatal shooting was reported about 7:40 p.m. June 29 in the 1400 block of Rose Avenue. Responding officers found Phuy lying in the courtyard of a Long Beach apartment building with gunshot wounds to his chest. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he died.

Lopez and Garcia were arrested earlier this month, booked on suspicion of murder and named by police in connection with Phuy’s killing, along with a third man, Richard Frias, 20, of Long Beach. Frias was booked on suspicion of murder and possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell but was not charged in the criminal complaint against Lopez, Garcia and Miranda.

“The exact motive for the shooting is currently unknown,” police said at the time of the arrests. “However, the incident is being investigated as gang-related.”

Miranda was arrested the following day.

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