Erika Aguilar Orange County Reporter

Erika Aguilar
Contact Erika Aguilar

Erika Aguilar covers Orange County for KPCC. Prior to that she was the station's crime, courts and public safety reporter.

Erika joined KPCC in 2012 after four years reporting on environmental issues for public radio station KUT in Austin, Texas, where she earned recognition for her work covering the 2009 shootings at the Fort Hood Army post in Killeen, the 2011 Texas wildfires and the state’s ongoing drought. Some of her reporting has been featured on NPR and American Public Media’s "Marketplace."

Before joining KUT, Aguilar worked in TV news as an assignment editor and assistant producer for the CBS affiliate in Austin. She’s a journalism and history graduate of Texas State University.

Any tips or story ideas can be sent to Erika by email at

Stories by Erika Aguilar

LAPD to change review process for use of deadly force

The police commission voted Tuesday to add language to the LAPD's use-of-force policy that would affect how officer-involved shootings are investigated.

Cell phone app allows teens to report hate crimes

A smartphone app called "Combat Hate" is aimed at children and teens to encourage reporting hate crimes, hate incidents and certain types of bullying.

Driver charged with murder in deadly wrong-way freeway crash

The L.A. County District Attorney's Office charged Olivia Culbreath, 21, with six counts of murder related to a crash on Sunday that killed six people. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

LA DA launches sex-trafficking diversion program (updated)

District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Wednesday that minors engaging in sex for pay will be viewed as victims, not criminals.

MADD plans vigil for victims of 60 Freeway wrong-way crash

The accused driver was taken into custody and is being held on $6 million bail, according to L.A. County Sheriff’s Department jail records.

LA: Certain businesses must post anti-human trafficking posters

Advocates are urging businesses to post signs with hotline numbers for people to report human trafficking. City leaders say they are unsatisfied with the level of compliance.

Legislator wants 'kill switch' on new cell phones

A Sacramento legislator wants to require all new smartphones and tablets to come with a "kill switch" starting next year to discourage theft.

Judge denies motion to challenge Echo Park gang injunction

A Los Angeles judge denied a request by some residents to intervene and challenge the city on its gang injunction for Echo Park.

First Person: Surgeon tries to coax gang members out of the life

Trauma surgeon Michael Jimenez believes he has a responsibility to try to persuade the gang members he treats to turn away from gang life.

Dorner manhunt: LAPD officers who shot at 2 women violated policy (Update)

The eight officers fired more than 100 rounds at the women, who were delivering newspapers. It's now up to LAPD Chief Beck to determine what discipline they will face.

LAPD body cameras: 90-day test seeks answers to key issues

Police body-worn cameras are being offered as an accountability tool. It has been well received by many but the consensus fractures when civil rights concerns enter the equation.

Judge to rule if community can fight Echo Park gang injunction

A judge heard arguments Friday on a request from about 16 people who want to challenge a gang injunction in Echo Park. The group is not named in the injunction, but argue it will violate their civil rights.

LAX shooting: TSA leader rejects arming officers at airports (Update)

TSA administrator John Pistole said Thursday that arming TSA officers is not an option, rejecting a union proposal to train some officers to carry guns at airports.

Pasadena City Council considers spay/neuter rule for pit bulls

Council members will consider a proposed mandatory spay and neuter ordinance aimed at pit bulls and pit bull mixes. The local humane society would like an ordinance covering all dogs and cats.

Assistant Sheriff will join race to succeed Baca

Jim Hellmold, who's been with the LA County Sheriff's Department for 25 years, is one of two officials who Baca named as capable successors.