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Police identify Apple Store burglar killed in shootout

Police are searching for two robbery suspects Monday morning who are also allegedly involved in a shooting at the Otay Ranch Town Center.
Police identify Apple Store burglar killed in shootout

CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A would-be burglar fatally wounded in a shootout with a security guard at an Apple Store in Chula Vista was identified Tuesday as a gang member and parolee.

Alex Somphonh Choulamountry, 23, was a documented gang member on parole, with convictions for theft, possession of drugs, driving under the influence and supplying a law enforcement officer with false identification, Chula Vista police said.

Choulamountry, Johnny Chenda, 25, and Melissa Ortiz, 21, allegedly tried to burglarize the store in the Otay Ranch Town Center at Birch Road and Eastlake Parkway about 6:40 a.m. Monday, police said.

The trio tried a "smash and grab" burglary, Capt. Gary Ficacci said.

Jose Jimenez, 58, a retired police officer who works for a security firm based in Los Angeles County, interrupted the burglars and exchanged gunfire with Choulamountry and Chenda, who also was armed, Ficacci said.

The three suspects got into a vehicle that crashed in the shopping center parking lot, he said. Choulamountry, who was driving, died on the spot.

Chenda and Ortiz ran from the wreck but were arrested on the patio of a home near Morning Dew Court and Sand Drive.

Several nearby schools were locked down in the aftermath of the shooting.



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