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Gunmen Open Fire at Gang Member’s Funeral

April 4, 1987

POMONA, Calif. (AP) _ Gunmen opened fire on a crowd of mourners at the funeral of a slain gang member, wounding four people and narrowly missing children in a school nearby, police said.

″They fired from the (cemetery) wall into the crowd,″ said police Lt. Bela Laszlo. ″A couple of bullets strayed into the classroom but no one was hit.″

The gunfire erupted Friday morning during the funeral at Holy Cross Cemetery of Robert Hernandez, a gang member killed in a drive-by shooting Sunday, Laszlo said.

Two girls suffered serious gunshot wounds and an 80-year-old woman in a wheelchair was trampled by terrified mourners fleeing the shooting, police said.

Patrol cars had accompanied the funeral procession to the cemetery but withdrew once the funeral began. There had not been a shooting at a gang funeral in 15 years, Laszlo said.

During the service, at least two gunmen scaled the cemetery wall and opened fire, police said. Several mourners chased the assailants to the playground of nearby Philadelphia Elementary School, where the shooting continued.

Maria Guzman Hernandez, 37, of Ontario, who was believed to be the sister of the dead man, was shot in the hand, authorities said. Her 16-year-old daughter was shot through the neck and her 10-year-old daughter was shot in the shoulder, Laszlo said.

A nursing supervisor said the three underwent surgery at Garfield Hospital in Monterey Park Friday night. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Robert Gonzalez, 30, of Pomona, was hit in the mouth by a richocheting bullet and was in satisfactory condition at an undisclosed hospital, Laszlo said.

Maria Gonzales of Ontario, who was trampled by mourners, was reported in stable condition at Pomona Valley Community Hospital.

In addition, several mourners attacked a reporter and photographer from a local newspaper, seizing their cameras because they didn’t want their pictures taken, he said.

David Hoyos, 23, has been booked for investigation in Robert Hernandez’s slaying, Laszlo said.

Pomona is 30 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

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