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Jewish Journal

Murder victim related to temple founder

by Ryan Torok

June 17, 2013 | 4:59 pm

A Porter Ranch woman, who authorities said was shot and killed early Friday morning when a domestic dispute escalated, was the daughter of a founding member of Temple Ahavat Shalom (TAS) in Northridge, according to a family member of the deceased.

The victim — identified as Risa Suggs, 52, by the L.A. County Department of Coroner — was allegedly shot by her boyfriend in the residential area near Kenya Street and Baton Rouge Avenue.

Police found Suggs' body lying in the middle of the street, across from her home at the 19200 block of Kenya, according to the L.A. Daily News.

Suggs had three children and five grandchildren, said Cheri Cheney, a congregant of TAS and Suggs’ cousin.

“I know she will be greatly missed by her family, her children, grandchildren and extended family,” Cheney said. Suggs’ late father, Lindley Berry, helped found the Reform congregation TAS.

Suggs’ name was not released publicly until Sunday, when the Daily News reported that the office of the L.A. County Department of Coroner identified Suggs as the victim.

Police were alerted to the situation after neighbors phoned the authorities to report fighting at Suggs’ home. Police arrived on the scene at around 12:30 a.m. The suspect and a Los Angeles Police SWAT team engaged in a nearly five-hour standoff before the suspect finally surrendered, according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

The alleged shooter was arrested on suspicion of murder at approximately 5 a.m. His name was not available at the time this story was published.

The inciting fight between Suggs and her boyfriend was related to the couple “breaking up,” Cheney said. She said she did not have additional information about the cause of the dispute.

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