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MAYOR DANIEL CRESPO MURDER: Details Emerge In Shooting Death of Bell Gardens Leader; Wife Levette Crespo in Custody

Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo seen last month at a dedication of a new recreation facility at a park.  Randy Economy Photo

Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo seen last month at a dedication of a new recreation facility at a park. Randy Economy Photo

By Brian Hews and Brian Hews

Details are emerging in the shooting death of popular Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo.

Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Department confirmed to Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper that the 45-year-old Crespo was shot at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday inside of his family’s residence located at the 6300 block of Gage Avenue.

Crespo died after his wife, Levette, shot him several time inside of the Vinas La Campana complex, law enforcement officials contend.

HMG-CN has been told that Crespo and his wife where inside their master bedroom, then an argument ensued, and his son, 19-year old son Daniel Jr., jumped in between his parents.

According to Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, while Mayor Crespo and his son were fighting, Crespo’s wife got a gun and shot her husband.

This map shows the incorporated areas in Los A...

This map shows the incorporated areas in Los Angeles County, California. Bell Gardens is highlighted in red. I created it in Inkscape using data from the Los Angeles County Website (Los Angeles County Incorporated Area and District Map (PDF). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crespo died en route to a hospital, Bell Gardens Fire Department officials confirmed.

Lavette Crespo is in custody and son Daniel was taken to a local hospital for injuries to his face.  The son is also being questioned by law enforcement officials as of Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

The Bell Gardens community is in shock after the murder of their popular mayor who was a native of the Bronx, New York.

Vice Mayor Jennifer Perez and City Council Members Jose “Jesse” Mendoza, Pedro Aceituno and Jennifer Rodriguez told HMG-CN and other media outlets on Tuesday afternoon the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that we inform you that Mayor Daniel Crespo was shot this afternoon and has died from his injuries. According to a preliminary investigation, the shooting does not appear to be city related or to his activities as Mayor.

Our thoughts and prayers should be with Mayor Crespo’s family at this tragic time,” the statement read.

Crespo had suffered and survived a bout with cancer over the past couple of years, and was also employed as a Probation Officer in the County of Los Angeles.

Crespo was born and raised in one of the toughest projects in Brooklyn, New York and in 1986, as a young teenager, married his high school sweetheart Levette and the two have been married ever since.
The Crespo’s relocated from New York to Bell Gardens and in 1987 his daughter was born, and in 1994, son Daniel Crespo Jr., was born.

Crespo graduated with an Associate of Science degree in Psychology/Family Counseling from East Los Angeles College and two years later he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice/Public Administration from Cal State University, Los Angeles.

Crespo was a candidate for his Master’s in Public Administration and after graduation he became a Deputy Probation Officer for Los Angeles County.

According to his bio, Crespo had been a Deputy Probation Officers for the past 15 years and had worked for eight years with the youth in Juvenile Halls, Youth Camps, and in residential treatment center. For the past five years he has worked in Adult Supervision, Gang unit, Narcotics, and at the time of his death was an Adult Investigator.

Crespo was well respected and well loved by other fellow elected leaders in Southeast Los Angeles County.

“After years of fighting against discrimination and injustice, many prominent Latino leaders from the United States Congress, California State Senate and Assembly, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and the City of Los Angeles have recognized Councilman Crespo’s leadership and dedication to the Community,” his official city bio stressed.

In 1999, following many years of being active in Bell Gardens community and civic affairs, Crespo was appointed to the Planning Commission and to serve as the group’s chairman.  In 2001, he was elected to the City Council.

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