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Most Wanted: Gustavo Araiza Sought in '95 North Hollywood Shooting

This is part of a continuing series on the Most Wanted Criminals of the North Hollywood Division of the LAPD

The case of Gustavo Araiza, a.k.a. Crook,  illustrates the danger of gang violence in the San Fernando Valley area around Studio City.

On Oct. 26, 1995, Araiza was driving his car when he reportedly saw 18-year-old Jorge Gonzalez in front of 11958 Hart St. Araiza reportedly made a U-turn and pulled up to the victim. Police said Araiza asked Gonzalez if he was from a rival gang. One shotgun blast hit the youth and the car sped away.

Homicide Detective Thomas Townsend, assigned to the North Hollywood division of the Los Angeles Police Department, says Araiza was a gang member. Any unpredictable gang member could go from simple vandalism to first-degree murder in an instant, the detective said.

"You have plenty of gang members that are in the North Hollywood area that are equally as dangerous and as capable of carrying out some murders, that just haven't either committed them yet but they have all these violent tendencies and arrests in the past," Townsend said.

He added, "They just haven't committed the murder, and I say 'yet' because if they keep going down the path that they're going, the high probability exists that it's eventually going to happen."

Araiza was 18 when the shooting occurred. He reportedly fled to Mexico and has not been located for 15 years.

Townsend encourages parents to be aware of the warning signs, so their teenagers can avoid following a violent path.

"If it's in a gang neighborhood and you've got a couple 12-year-old children, or a 12- and a 14-year-old ... kids want to go out and play and look for something to do and they meet people in the neighborhood," the detective cautioned. "If the parents aren't on top of these kids and rule them with an iron fist, chances are those kids are going to become gang members."

It is unlikely that Araiza would return to California, the detectives said.

If you have any information on Gustavo Araiza, contact the North Hollywood Homicide Detectives at 818-623-4075. 

Suspect: Gustavo Araiza

Height: 5 foot, 6 inches

Weight: 145 pounds

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Brown

Wanted on charges of murder

Victim: Jorge Gonzales

Age: 18

Where: 11958 Hart St.

Date of crime: Oct. 26, 1995

(This is part of a continuing series of stories of the Most Wanted Criminals of the North Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. Click here for the previous stories.)

Emily Ducre March 31, 2012 at 02:47 PM
This can happen to the best of people. Gustavo was an awesome person who carried out an unspeakable act of violence. He used to live in La Puente CA where he was doing very well. He had excellent grades and was on the football team. He was happy and thriving and had dreams of attending college. His heart was so big and was so respectful especially of women. He was forced to move to N. Hollywood by his father. He was living there for a week when he was approached by gang members and was told basically you are with us or against us. Nobody made him kill but like the article says, heading down that path it is more than likely to happen. I continue to kiss him everyday and am deeply saddened in knowing I will never see him again. I am so very sorry to Jorge's family and loved ones for their loss. It was senseless and cruel.
Anakaren Araiza May 03, 2012 at 03:28 AM
thank you so much for saying something posotive about Gustavo. We really appreciate it and like you said ms. Emily its happens to the best of us.. sometimes life is not fair and we all make mistakes were all humans and were dearly sorry about what happen on that day. Sorry to the family of that person. And for you emely you meant a lot to our dearly brother. Hope we see you again emely You were a chapter in his life that I bet he'll never forget. Hopefully we see you again and you keep in contact with us . Ps. Thank you so much. Sincerely anakaren Araiza

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