The Signal Tribune newspaper

Filed under Carousel, News

LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

Long Beach police seek to capture killer of Fred Taft, who was shot inside park restroom in July.

At+a+Long+Beach+Police+Department+news+conference+on+Tuesday%2C+Sept.+4%2C+Corie+Taft%E2%80%93+the+daughter+of+Fred+Taft%2C+who+was+shot+and+killed+at+Pan+American+Park+on+July+21%E2%80%93+struggled+with+tears%2C+as+she+urged+the+public+to+assist+in+providing+information+that+could+lead+to+the+arrest+of+Fred%E2%80%99s+killer%2C+who+escaped+on+foot.+Los+Angeles+County+and+City+of+Long+Beach+officials+are+offering+a+combined+%2430%2C000+reward+for+those+in+the+community+who+may+have+credible+information+about+the+crime.+
At a Long Beach Police Department news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 4, Corie Taft– the daughter of Fred Taft, who was shot and killed at Pan American Park on July 21– struggled with tears, as she urged the public to assist in providing information that could lead to the arrest of Fred’s killer, who escaped on foot. Los Angeles County and City of Long Beach officials are offering a combined $30,000 reward for those in the community who may have credible information about the crime.

At a Long Beach Police Department news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 4, Corie Taft– the daughter of Fred Taft, who was shot and killed at Pan American Park on July 21– struggled with tears, as she urged the public to assist in providing information that could lead to the arrest of Fred’s killer, who escaped on foot. Los Angeles County and City of Long Beach officials are offering a combined $30,000 reward for those in the community who may have credible information about the crime.

Photos by Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

Photos by Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

At a Long Beach Police Department news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 4, Corie Taft– the daughter of Fred Taft, who was shot and killed at Pan American Park on July 21– struggled with tears, as she urged the public to assist in providing information that could lead to the arrest of Fred’s killer, who escaped on foot. Los Angeles County and City of Long Beach officials are offering a combined $30,000 reward for those in the community who may have credible information about the crime.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It started out as a family gathering on a summer afternoon at Pan American Park, but when local resident Fred Taft, 57, was shot and killed inside the park restroom July 21, a cheerful event quickly turned into agony.

After over a month of no answers and no signs of the killer, the Taft family is seeking justice– and a $30,000 reward from county and city officials will be offered for anybody who has relevant information about the crime.

At a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 4, Corie Taft, struggling with tears as she described the good man her father was, urged the public to help her family find closure.

“We are devastated,” she said. “My dad was everything to all of us. I love my father more than life itself, and I miss him dearly every day– so do the rest of our family and his two grandchildren who ask for papa every day. He was a great man who loved his family, friends and God. We are all devastated and heartbroken, and we need answers. […] Why did you do this?”

As Corie described it, Fred and a female friend walked to the restroom together at Pan American Park that July afternoon. Upon separating into the men and women’s restrooms, the female friend heard gunshots. As she walked into the men’s room, she saw Fred lying on the floor with a “brutal” shot wound in the back of his head.

A family friend saw the killer, who was described by Corie in her statement as a white male with a long rifle, flee the restroom. However, it is not confirmed what weapon the suspect used.

Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) Chief Robert Luna, who hosted the conference at LBPD headquarters in downtown, said officers were dispatched to the location of the shooting at approximately 4:30pm that Saturday. Based on witness accounts, the suspect is a 6-foot-tall white male in his 50s who was possibly wearing a dark shirt, light shorts and a hat.

“Our main focus is to arrest the person or persons responsible for Fred Taft’s death and hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Luna said. “Since the day of his murder, detectives have worked relentlessly to follow-up on all available clues and leads. Unfortunately, the identity of the suspect or suspects and the motive of the senseless killing is unknown, at least for now. We are fully aware of the family and the community’s concern that this murder may be the result of a hate crime. We are not ruling any possibility from this case. Every option is absolutely on the table.”

Last month, the Taft family conducted a community investigation near the park and questioned residents if they heard about the shooting, had seen any suspicious activity or have any other evidence that may indicate that the murder was racially motivated.

As reported by the Signal Tribune, the investigation revealed that most people in the community didn’t even realize a man had been shot merely a few blocks away from their homes.

With the murder taking place in the middle of the afternoon at a public park with multiple people, Luna said he is certain there is a witness who may have a crucial “piece of the puzzle” that could lead to the capture and conviction of the killer.

Luna added that Pan American Park has no surveillance cameras, and the suspect’s motives are unknown.

“We do not know a motive,” he said. “That is what’s frustrating about this case.”

Tuesday night, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $10,000 reward for anybody with credible knowledge of the incident.

“Fred Taft’s life mattered,” Hahn said at the conference. “He was loved, he had so much to live for, and it’s obvious his family, who is here with us today, are devastated. They deserve justice. The person who did this deserves to be behind bars.”

Similarly, the Long Beach City Council, which originally intended to match the County’s price tag, approved a $20,000 reward at its Sept. 4 meeting. All tolled, a $30,000 reward is being offered– something city officials hope will motivate residents to reveal crucial evidence about the murder.

“The entire community mourns this tragedy, and we’re here to plead to the public to please come forward with any information,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia at the event. “No bit of information is too small. Every piece of information that either led up to this day or happened on this day is incredibly important for our police department.”

Those with information about the murder of Fred Taft can contact Long Beach Police Department detectives Michael Hubbard and Adrian Garcia at (562) 570-7244.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    CSULB food drive collects 1,782 meals for students

  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    First ever LBCC athletic logo introduced

  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    Seniors continue to struggle to find affordable, appropriate housing in Long Beach

  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    Long Beach, Signal Hill participate in National Preparedness Month, 2018

  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    Three penguin chicks waddle their way to new home in exhibit

  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    A mosquito invasion

  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    Signal Hill receives $7.5 million to expand stormwater-capture basin

  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    Memorial held for 17th anniversary of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    A nickel for your thoughts?

  • LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park

    Carousel

    It’s a sign

Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
LB City Council, LA County offer combined $30,000 reward for information about murder at local park