Two Los Angeles-area teens have been arrested after allegedly fatally shooting a man who met them to buy a cell phone they had advertised on Craigslist.
The Los Angeles Times and KABC said the victim’s 15-year-old son also was shot, but was treated and released.
The Times identified the alleged killers as Ryan Roth, 17, and Markell Thomas, 18. Police said it was believed Thomas was involved in at least seven burglaries in the Beverly Hills area.
The shooters killed Rene Balbuena
, 41, on Oct. 19 in south Los Angeles.
A police statement said
: “The two male suspects approached the victims’ vehicle on foot from the rear. The suspects began demanding that the victims hand over their money. Balbuena exited the vehicle, and one of the suspects began shooting,” the Los Angeles Daily News reported.”
It wasn’t the first murder related to a Craigslist ad. Richard Beasley, who claimed he was a preacher, was sentenced to death in Ohio for killing three men who answered a phony ad he placed for a caretaker for a non-existent farm. Beasley had a teen helping him, who was sentenced to life.
The Denver Post reports
Craigslist has been criticized for not paying enough attention to safety. Marketing and consumer affairs professor Prashant Malviya of Georgetown McDonough School of Business, said,
"Craigslist has had a very laissez-faire attitude. Their attitude is... people will police themselves." The Post said Craigslist did not reply to a request for a response.
The Times said it ended a lull of 10 days with no fatal shootings in the city.
The teens were said to be 17 and 18.