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Police probe shooting death of Assemblyman's father

Posted: November 16, 2013 11:59 a.m.
Updated: November 16, 2013 11:59 a.m.
 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police are investigating whether the shooting death of a state assemblyman's father is related to an earlier assault in the neighborhood.

Artist Joseph Gatto was found hunched over a desk Wednesday night in his ransacked home in the Silver Lake district. An autopsy determined he died from a single bullet to the stomach from a small-caliber handgun.

LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1buKYF1 ) detectives were looking into "a number of different avenues" including whether the slaying was connected to an aggravated assault and car break-in nearby the night before.

"We're obviously looking at it," Albanese told the newspaper in Saturday's editions, declining to elaborate.

Silver Lake residents said they received an email from a neighbor who recalled seeing a prowler with a gun next to a car with shattered glass. Another neighbor whose vehicle was broken into heard from a resident that she came face-to-face with the suspect, who pointed a gun at her, the Times reported.

The 78-year-old Gatto was the father of Mike Gatto, a Democrat who represents Los Angeles in the California Assembly.

Police previously said there's nothing to connect Gatto's death with his son's politics.

Gatto was well-known in the city's arts world, influencing many over the years as a teacher and as founding director of the visual arts program at Los Angeles High School for the Arts.

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