Homicide victim’s family pleased with fugitive’s arrest

first_imgA day after the LAPD announced the capture of one of Los Angeles’ most-wanted gang members, friends and family of his alleged victim expressed bittersweet joy. Police suspect Steve Garcia, 43, a member of the San Fers gang in San Fernando, in the fatal shooting of Kenneth Landon in a Sylmar motel Feb. 12, 2001. Landon’s death shattered the lives of his mother, brother, son and former girlfriend. All moved out of state shortly after the killing, saying it was too painful to remain and that they feared for their lives, said Landon’s mother, who asked that her name not be published for fear of retribution. “The past six years have been hell for me,” she said. “I want everyone to know that my son was good and loving and that every day it hurts.” Landon asked Garcia to leave, she said; he returned with a gun and shot Landon several times. Police said they could not confirm the account. A fugitive task force that had been watching for Garcia for four days in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, caught him Friday at a market along the main strip buying an ice cream. Authorities believe he had been living in Mexico since fleeing shortly after the shooting. “Kenneth Landon is not the only victim. His mother, his family, everyone is a victim in something like this. He’s gone, but the pain will stay with (his mother) until she dies,” said veteran homicide Detective Jim Freund. Garcia, also known as “Big Steve” and “Loco Steve,” is the second person arrested of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s recently released top 10 most-wanted gang members in L.A. rachel.uranga@dailynews.com (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Friends and family described Landon as a fun-loving goofball, a devoted father who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. “Our son considered his father to be the king of the world and he idolized him,” said Landon’s former girlfriend and the mother of his now-12-year-old son. “Kenny saw all the good in his life through his son. They were a fun and perfect pair, the apples of each other’s eyes for sure.” Landon, a construction worker who as a youth was active with the anti-drug program DARE, was not affiliated with gangs, as earlier reported. But, his mother said, he had slipped into drug use and was seeking treatment. On the night he was killed, his ex-girlfriend said he was at a party at a Motel 6 when Garcia made some rude comments to some women there. last_img read more