A 73-year-old El Monte man suspected in last week’s shooting of a doctor in a Baldwin Park hospital walked into an Echo Park chicken restaurant Sunday afternoon, ordered coffee and mashed potatoes, and fatally shot himself two hours later in front of police, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Eugene Guevara, who was the focus of a police search since the Friday shooting at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center, shot himself in the stomach and head with a .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun outside of Pioneer Chicken on Echo Park Boulevard, minutes after police arrived. They were responding to reports about a suicidal man, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Don Cox. Guevara was taken about 2 p.m. to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Police had identified Guevara from a videotape taken a few minutes after Friday’s hospital shooting, in which urologist Reynaldo Hernandez, 49, was shot several times. Hospital spokeswoman Reyna Del Haro said Hernandez remains in stable condition.
She said Guevara was a patient at the hospital, but did not know why he was being treated or if Hernandez was his doctor. Neighbors said Guevara had prostate cancer and had recently been visiting his doctor frequently. They said he was a widower and a nice, private man who lived alone in his one-story El Monte home. He often tended the fruit trees in his yard and talked about politics.
Woon Chung, owner of the Pioneer Chicken restaurant, said Guevara arrived at noon and placed his food order. He was carrying a yellow leather knapsack with a box of Aleve painkillers inside, as well as a wooden cane and a stack of white typing paper with handwriting in uppercase letters that police said was a suicide note. The note was not made public.
“He didn’t hurt or talk to anybody,” said Chung.