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A rapper is dead in what police say was an apparent murder-suicide that took place in the presence of three young children on New Year’s Day.
J $tash, whose real name is Justin Joseph, is the man believed to have killed a mother of three in Temple City on Saturday, as reported by People. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a possible domestic violence call at the 9200 block of Petland Street at around 7:14 a.m. When they arrived, they discovered the bodies of a 28-year-old Black male and a 27-year-old Hispanic female.
The female victim was identified as Joseph’s girlfriend, Jeanette Gallegos, according to the NY Post.
Authorities stated the male suspect shot the woman multiple times before turning the gun on himself. A handgun was recovered at the crime scene.
“Right now, the evidence at the scene and the preliminary information we have from the children in the home is that it’s a murder-suicide,” said Lt. Derrick Alfred, according to KTLA.
The shooting occurred in the presence of three juveniles who lived at the address, their ages ranging from 5 to 11, according to the sheriff’s office. The children were unharmed and subsequently removed from the home. According to the Associated Press, the three boys reportedly fled from the residence, with one of them calling 911. It was unclear whether the call to police came before or after Gallegos’ murder.
Lt. Alfred confirmed the minors were Gallegos’ sons, but not biologically related to Joseph.
“It’s a very tragic situation,” said Alfred.
But Gallegos’ death wasn’t Joseph’s first charge of domestic violence. In 2014, the New York-born rapper surrendered to police in Brooklyn after his former girlfriend accused him of beating her unconscious and sending threatening texts, according to the New York Daily News. The victim uploaded photos of her battered face on the internet. Joseph denied abusing her.
For that alleged assault, Joseph faced charges of criminal obstruction of breathing and assault, however, in 2015, prosecutors thew out the domestic violence charges, according to the Daily News.
Following Saturday's tragedy, Gallegos’ sister, Erika Chavez, created a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral costs.
“God has gained another angel,” wrote Chavez. “My sister was full of life. She was the sweetest, most caring person, always there for everyone who needed her.”
Anyone with information about the deaths of Joseph and Gallegos is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Bureau at 353-890-5500.
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