A man who has been arrested in the shooting deaths of three people with an assault rifle and the injury of two others in Pasadena on Saturday called police to confess and to surrender, Pasadena police said Monday.
“He said, ‘I killed someone,’” Diane Marin, 911 operator for the Pasadena Police Department, said in a news conference in Pasadena on Monday. “That’s the first thing he said.”
John Izeal Smith, 44, of Pasadena, was arrested on suspicion of murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting on Saturday in the 1700 block of Summit Avenue in Pasadena.
In 911 recordings police released Monday, one can hear — between the bullhorn shouts from police for the gunman to "come out with your hands up" — a man’s voice:
“I’m coming out. Tell them I’m coming out.”
Smith was taken into custody about an hour after the shooting began. He is being held at a Los Angeles County jail.
Two people were treated for bullet graze wounds and shrapnel wounds and were eventually released from care.
In her account of her 911 call, Marin said: “I couldn’t react emotionally. I was concerned that this person had the capacity to commit suicide or go into a rage and take it out on more officers.”
She said the caller spoke calmly and sounded like he wanted to talk. He started telling her things about his life that had nothing to do with the crime.
Earlier in the incident, several 911 calls came in around 4:20 p.m. from frightened neighbors reporting about 15 gunshots in the neighborhood. “I didn’t see anything, I just saw people running,” one 911 caller reportedly said.
Pasadena police said that a gunman shot and killed Luis Fernando, 90, inside a Summit Avenue house and chased two women out the door onto the sidewalk, firing at them. Police say Maria Teresa Aguilar, 59, was shot in front of the house.
That’s when police believe Joseph Hernandez Iribe ran to help her, but was also shot and killed. Pasadena Mayor William Bogaard, speaking in the news conference, called the 31-year-old neighbor a courageous Good Samaritan.
“We can all be inspired by his commitment to mitigating this tragic situation,” he said. “It will take some time to recover from the events of Saturday afternoon.”
Also at the news conference, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said one officer tried to run to the aid of one of the victims but came under gunfire from the gunman, who ran back into the house. None of the police officers who responded fired their weapons because they could not get a good or clear shot at the gunman, Sanchez said.
“The shooting on Summit Avenue was an isolated, tragic and terrible event,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez said the suspect has no criminal record and police haven't had much contact with the man in the past. He said preliminary details of the investigation lead detectives to believe the shooting was the result of a landlord-tenant dispute.