MELROSE —The Los Angeles Police Department announced the arrest of a 21-year-old suspect in connection to the murder of Marco Sandoval, a 52-year-old father who was shot and killed while walking his dog in March. LAPD’s West Bureau Homicide detectives, the FBI Fugitive Task Force and the San Marcos Police Department coordinated to detain the suspect at his home in San Marcos, Texas on Wednesday, April 27.
On March 12, the victim, later identified as Sandoval, was walking his dog near the corner of Genesee Avenue and Saturn Street in the Mid-City area at around 5 a.m. A dark colored sedan approached and stopped at the Northwest corner of Genesee and Saturn Street. The suspect exited the vehicle, exchanged unknown words with Sandoval then fired two shots at him, the LAPD reported in a statement. The suspect got back into the vehicle and fled Northbound on Genesee Avenue.
By 6:15 a.m., Sandoval’s body was discovered by a passerby who called 911. Paramedics pronounced Sandoval dead at the scene. His dog, Little Torro, was uninjured and reportedly returned home on his own.
A neighbor’s security camera footage captured the dark sedan pulling up, the two shots fired and Sandoval’s dog running away from the scene.
The suspect was identified as Cliffton Kamal Styles, 21, a resident of San Marcos, Texas.
West Bureau Homicide detectives and the FBI Fugitive Task Force developed several leads and coordinated with the San Marcos Police Department in order to arrest Styles.
On Wednesday, April 27, West Bureau Homicide detectives presented a case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who filed a murder charge against Styles. He was arrested at his home later that day. Styles was booked in Texas as a fugitive on a murder warrant and will be extradited back to Los Angeles.
Investigators believe that Sandoval was randomly targeted by Styles who was driving a charcoal gray 2020 Ford Fusion SE, with temporary Texas tags. Detectives determined that Styles traveled from San Marcos, Texas and arrived in Florida. He then drove cross country from Florida to Los Angeles where he committed the murder on March 12. It was determined he traveled to San Diego before returning to Texas.
Authorities believe that Styles may be suffering from mental illness and could be involved in other violent crimes.
Marco Sandoval’s daughter described her father as a hard-working, good person “who had no enemies,” to NBC4. Sandoval is survived by his daughter Andrea, and one other daughter. Sandoval lived blocks away from where he was murdered for over 20 years.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact West Bureau Homicide at (213) 382-9470.