Bell Gardens mayor shot and killed

BELL GARDENS – Bell Gardens mayor Daniel Crespo was shot and killed by his wife Tuesday afternoon during an apparent domestic dispute at the couple’s condominium on the 6300 block of Gage Avenue. According to authorities and various media reports, Crespo, 45, and his wife, Levette, were arguing over money when the couple’s 19-year-old son intervened.

A physical altercation ensued between Crespo and his son, at which point Levette shot her husband multiple times. He died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital.

The L.A. Times reported that Levette said she shot her husband to defend her son, who was hospitalized with unspecified injuries.

Levette was interviewed by authorities and has not been arrested. The L.A. County District Attorney’s office will decide whether criminal charges are warranted.

Crespo was elected to the Bell Gardens City Council in 2001. He was a probation officer in his day job.

Crespo was popular in the local community.

Downey resident Mario Trujillo, a deputy district attorney, said he met Crespo about a decade ago when Crespo was a deputy probation officer.

“We shared a love for Freestyle music and politics. Every Freestyle show I promoted – Daniel was there,” Trujillo wrote on Facebook. “I was always trying to convince him to move to Downey. He would always say… ‘Nah, Bell Gardens is on the move.”

State Sen. Ricardo Lara and Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia — both from Bell Gardens — released a joint statement:

“As representatives and residents of Bell Gardens, today’s tragic news about the passing of our dear friend, Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, is shocking and a tremendous loss for our close knit community. Mayor Crespo was a respected public servant who dedicated his life to protecting and helping others in Southeast Los Angeles and throughout the region. Our hearts are heavy with grief today; and our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We ask that the public respect the privacy of his family during the impending investigation.”

Downey councilman Mario Guerra said he worked with Crespo on local government issues and was “very sad all the way around.”

“I’m saddened for his family and his community. A tragic loss,” he said. “My prayers are with them.”



Published: Oct. 2, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 25