News Releases

November 20, 2014: Suspected Sunday Killer Charged with Additional Murders, Attempted Murders

Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief

A suspected serial killer was charged today with three additional murders and five attempted murders stemming from a series of random shootings that culminated on a Sunday in August, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. 

Alexander Hernandez, 34, is scheduled to be arraigned today in case PA081724 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 102. He is being held without bail. 

Deputy District Attorneys Tannaz Mokayef and Michele Hanisee with the Major Crimes Division are prosecuting the case. 

An amended complaint filed today charges Hernandez with the Aug. 24 murders of Gloria Tovar, 59, and Michael Planells, 29. 

Tovar was gunned down while in her car waiting to pick up a friend to go to church in Pacoima. Planells was fatally shot while he was standing in a Sylmar parking lot. 

On the same day, Mariana Franco, 23, was riding in a car with her parents, brother and sister when Hernandez allegedly opened fire, killing Franco and injuring both parents. He is charged with her murder and four attempted murders of her family. 

The new charges filed today also include an Aug. 20 attempted murder of a 42-year-old woman who was shot in the Atwater Village area while driving to work. 

In all, Hernandez is charged with 22 counts:

  • Four counts of capital murder
  • Seven counts of attempted murder
  • Four counts of shooting at an occupied vehicle
  • Three counts of cruelty to an animal
  • One count of possession of a firearm by a felon
  • One count of possession of ammunition by a felon
  • Two counts of discharge of a firearm with gross negligence

Hernandez is now charged with four special circumstance murders. In addition to the three filed today, the Sylmar resident is charged with the Aug. 21 fatal shooting of Gilardo Morales, 48. Morales was driving his pickup truck to work when he was shot and killed in the Pacoima area. 

The special circumstances of multiple murders and shooting from an occupied vehicle make Hernandez eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty. 

The complaint alleges Hernandez has four prior convictions, including possession for sale of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon. 

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.