News Releases

December 31, 2018: Security Guard Charged with Murder in Pharmacy Shooting

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A security guard at a pharmacy in Hollywood has been charged with killing a man he suspected of shoplifting, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Donald Vincent Ciota II (dob 5/26/90) of Covina faces one count of murder with an allegation that he used a firearm as a deadly and dangerous weapon.

Arraignment is scheduled today in Department 40 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Case BA473919 was filed for warrant on Dec. 27.

On Dec. 2, Ciota confronted Jonathan Hart, 21, inside the pharmacy on Sunset and Vine when a physical altercation ensued, prosecutors said. Ciota then pulled out his firearm and is alleged to have fatally shot Hart in the back as he ran away, prosecutors added.

Bail is scheduled at $3 million. If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.