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Downey murders: Capital charges filed against man who allegedly shot, killed 3 last week (PDF)

The scene in Downey where shootings took place on Cleta Street, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012.
The scene in Downey where shootings took place on Cleta Street, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012.
Erika Aguilar

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Los Angeles County prosecutors filed murder, attempted-murder and other charges Monday against the 30-year-old man who allegedly shot and killed three people last week and wounded two others, including a 13-year-old boy, at a fire extinguisher business and nearby home in suburban Downey.

Jade Douglas Harris was charged with three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, three counts of kidnapping for carjacking, three carjacking counts, two kidnapping counts and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Arraignment was scheduled for Monday afternoon, but it was continued to Nov. 28. No members of the victims’ families spoke to the media, while the public defender didn’t speak with family either.

Harris hung his head low in court avoiding the media cameras. He wore a blue jail jumpsuit and was handcuffed. 

Prosecutors also alleged four so-called special circumstances: Murder while lying in wait, murder in the commission of a kidnapping, murder in the commission of a carjacking and killing a witness to a crime.

The case could lead to the death penalty if Harris is convicted, but the district attorney’s office said in a statement that prosecutors had not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors said Harris went to the business, United States Fire Protection, in response to an Internet ad offering a car for sale. Josimar Rojas, 26 and Irene Cardenas Reyes, 35 were fatally shot there, while another woman was wounded.

Harris is alleged to have then forced another woman, Perez Ruelas, to drive him and a 13-year-old boy to the nearby home where the car was located. That woman was fatally shot there and the boy was wounded.

The district attorney said Harris has felony convictions for robbery, attempted robbery and carrying a concealed weapon.

The District Attorney’s Office asked for Harris to be held without bail because of it being a capital case, and that was granted Monday afternoon.

Harris was detained on Oct. 25 and booked the next day.

Harris Complaint

This story has been updated.