Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal Shooting of Double Amputee in Wheelchair

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A woman with a felony conviction pleaded not guilty Thursday in the shooting death of a homeless double-amputee who was in a wheelchair outside a McDonald’s restaurant in South Los Angeles.

Ruby Salazar, 37, of Los Angeles, is charged with one count each of murder and attempted murder, along with two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges include allegations of use of a firearm, infliction of great bodily injury and use of a firearm during a specified offense, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Police allege that Salazar walked to Gerold Lipeles and shot him May 17 as the 69-year-old man was asleep in his wheelchair outside a McDonald’s in the 1700 block of West Century Boulevard, between Western and Normandie avenues.

Co-defendant Raymundo Hernandez, 34, of Los Angeles, is charged with one count of murder. He pleaded not guilty during a Sept. 1 hearing.

Police did not disclose Hernandez’s alleged involvement in Lipeles’ killing.

Detectives also linked Salazar to an attempted murder four days later in which a 67-year-old homeless woman was shot in the back as she walked away from a bus stop in the 1600 block of West Manchester Avenue, also between Western and Normandie avenues, after Salazar allegedly initiated a conversation, according to police.

Salazar has been behind bars since her May 22 arrest by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, according to jail records. Police said she has been re-arrested on suspicion of murder.

Hernandez was arrested Aug. 30 by Los Angeles police.

In a statement announcing the criminal charges, District Attorney George Gascón called it an “unthinkable crime.”

“The murder of this victim — who was unhoused and a double amputee asleep in his wheelchair — is disturbingly brutal and callous,” Gascón said.

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