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Woman charged in murder of man who tried to stop church taggers

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Update: Janeth Lopez pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder, and vandalism in connection with the shooting death of Andres Ordonez. Lopez was taken into custody on November 8 on a probation violation. Police had pegged her as a person of interest in the case, prompting a probation search. She remains in custody on the criminal charges in lieu of posting $2.5 million bail. 

Lopez is not accused of shooting Ordonez, but she faces murder charges if it's proven she was involved in the incident that led to his death. Police are still looking for the shooter and potentially a third person who was in the car. 

Several people seated in the courtroom Tuesday appeared to know Lopez, who was dressed in an oversized gray sweatshirt. They waved at her, but declined to talk to reporters. 

Lopez is next scheduled to appear in court on December 4 to set a preliminary hearing date. 

Earlier

Janeth Lopez, 22, alleged to be a member of a Los Angeles gang, has been charged with murder, attempted murder and vandalism in connection with the shootings of two men who tried to stop a graffiti attack on a church.

Prosecutors allege that on Nov. 4 Lopez was spray-painting graffiti on the Iglesia de Paz church in the Westlake district when two church members interrupted the vandalism.

Authorities say a suspected male gang member got out of a car and fatally shot 25-year-old Andres Ordonez and wounded the second man. The gunman fired at a third man but missed.

The L.A. County district attorney's office says Lopez allegedly fled in the shooter's car. The second victim is in stable condition and has returned home from the hospital, said the police homicide detective on the investigation, Jeff Cortina of the Rampart Division.

The shooter has yet to be arrested.

"Leads and stuff from the community" led to the arrest, Cortina said.

Finding the other two involved in the killings is "something we're working on" with "a lot of resources," Cortina said.

Cortina declined further comment due to the investigation being ongoing and involving suspected gang members.

Lopez is being charged with murder due to her presence when the shooting death took place.

The L.A. City Council previously offered a $50,000 reward for information in the shooting. The wife of the murder victim asked witnesses not to be afraid.

Correction: The initial version of this post said "women" plural instead of "woman" singular in the headline.

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