LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his Gun Violence Prevention Unit has filed one criminal count against a San Fernando Valley father for allegedly keeping a loaded unsecured shotgun in his closet, easily accessible to a ten- year-old child.
"Just a few days ago, a toddler shot two 3-year-olds outside Detroit. A big reason is unlocked guns falling into the wrong hands," said Feuer. "Locking up guns saves lives. It also prevents crime: Lost or stolen guns are the major source of crime guns in Los Angeles. We have to hold adults accountable for safely storing their firearms."
Angelo Rocca, 43, was charged with one count of not properly storing a gun. The maximum penalty on the charge is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Arraignment is scheduled for October 24, 2017 in Department 48.
In July, 2017, a ten-year-old child in the home allegedly showed a friend the shotgun located in a closet. The friend later made a report to school officials after allegedly overhearing remarks about his friend using the gun. School police went to the defendant’s home in Sunland and recovered a loaded, unsecured and fully accessible 12-gauge shotgun in the closet.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy City Attorney Margie Barron who was recently assigned to prosecute gun cases arising out of the new Crime Gun Intelligence Center in LAPD’s 77th Division. In her new position, Deputy City Attorney Barron will also be responsible for identifying gun violence hot-spots throughout the City and vertically prosecuting high-risk firearm cases in those areas. Working with law enforcement partners, Barron will also be responsible for gun trafficking-related crimes, including attempted illegal purchases by prohibited persons and unlawful transfers.
Within the past month, Deputy City Attorney Barron has successfully secured the conviction in four firearm cases involving loaded guns being transported in vehicles. She also has 17 pending gun cases currently assigned to her.
Unlocked weapons in homes pose a serious public safety threat, not only to the occupants, but also running the risk of being stolen by criminals. Since January 2016, LAPD reports that there have been 852 criminal incidents involving one or multiple stolen guns, including 141 incidents of burglary committed since January.