The Los Angeles Police Dept. is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect who had threatened a woman with a gun on Nov. 12 in Silver Lake. The suspect may be connected to the murder of Joseph Gatto, 78, later that evening.
According to an LAPD statement, a man described as white, 20-to-25 years old, 5’9” tall and weighing 180 pounds was seen threatening the woman. At the time he was wearing a multi-colored, hooded sweatshirt and tan pants.
A witness reported seeing the suspect breaking into the victim’s vehicle in the 2300 block of Moreno Drive. When the woman confronted him, the suspect pointed a gun and threatened to kill her.
Another witness confronted the suspect and he was threatened as well. The man then fled on foot on Telsa Avenue.
LAPD stated the suspect may be connected a home invasion that occurred in the area.
On Nov. 13, police were called to the home of Joseph Gatto, the father of Assemblymember Mike Gatto, in the 2800 block of Bright Lane in Silver Lake. A family member had found the victim and called police.
“We [discovered] a man in his late 70s who suffered a gunshot wound,” said Officer Bruch Borihanh.
The elder Gatto died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gatto was notified of his father’s passing that night while he was in Sacramento.
“He is devastated,” said Justin Hager, director of communications for the Assemblymember’s office.
Joseph Gatto is a retired teacher from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
“[Assemblymember Gatto] is grateful to the LAPD for their kindness and [professionalism],” Hager said.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact Detectives Barry Telis and Chris Gable at the Homicide Special Section, Robbery-Homicide Division, at (213) 486-6890, during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.). During non-business hours, weekends and holidays, contact LAPD’s 24-hour toll-free hotline at 877 LAPD 247 (877-527-3247).
If anyone would like to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. To send text tips, text the word TIPLA, a space, and then your message to CRIMES (274637). For anonymous web tips, log onto www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”
When providing information, please refer to DR #1311-01167.