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Exclusive: 2 Men Arrested In Shooting Death Of Father James Vargas At South LA Taco Stand; Family Of Victim Speaks Out

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Two suspects have been taken into custody in the shooting death of a man, in front of his family, near a taco stand in South Los Angeles earlier this month.

Jose Rodriguez, 30, and Eric Sanchez, 31, were taken into custody Monday in the slaying of 30-year-old James Vargas, Los Angeles police confirmed to CBSLA Wednesday.

Police said Rodriguez is believed to be the gunman. He is charged with murder, while Sanchez is charged with being an accessory after the fact.

It was hard for the Vargas family to contain their emotions after hearing about the arrests.

"I feel sad, that was my little brother...sorry," a tearful Manny Vargas, a brother of James, told CBSLA.

The Vargas family came to the Compton Courthouse Wednesday morning to get an update from authorities on the case. When they arrived, they were told that the search for the suspects was over.

"Anytime I mention, 'Oh, let's meet up,' I still say James, it still just comes out, and with Thanksgiving coming up, I can't believe it's gonna be a situation like this," said Billy Vargas, another brother of James.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 14, James Vargas was walking to a taco stand with his wife and two children when he was shot at 92nd Street and Central Avenue.

Witnesses said that the suspect approached Vargas and asked him where he was from. Before the father of two could respond, the assailant shot him in the chest.

At the time, the LAPD confirmed that Vargas had no gang affiliation and was unsure why he was targeted.

After trying to be strong for the last 11 days, Billy and Manny felt the flood of emotions that come with relief.

"To hear this, it's definitely been a weight off my shoulders," Billy said.

"I feel relief. I feel relief even though my brother isn't here anymore, I feel relief that this animal got caught," Manny said.

Both suspects were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the Compton Courthouse.



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