Gunman ID’d in computer store robbery, killing

Timothy Johnson, 24, has been identified as the man who robbed e-Chaps Computer store at 2007 W. Avenue K and shot and killed owner Reed Keith.

UPDATED 3/25/12 at 9 am: Robbery/homicide suspect Timothy Johnson was arrested by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators in South Los Angeles Saturday night. LASD Inmate information records put Timothy Johnson’s arrest time at 7:10 p.m. Saturday. He is being held without bail, and he is due in court at the Antelope Valley Courthouse at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, according to the information in the LASD Inmate Information System.

The Homicide Bureau scheduled a press conference for Monday to announce details of Johnson’s arrest. We will have more information on Johnson’s arrest as it becomes available.

Updated 3/26/12: The press conference on the details of Johnson’s arrest is now scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Lancaster Station.

LANCASTER – Authorities have identified the gunman who robbed a computer store in Lancaster Friday afternoon and killed its owner.

Update: Timothy Johnson has been arrested.

Timothy Johnson, 24, has been identified as the man who robbed e-Chaps Computer store around 4 p.m. Friday, and shot and killed owner Reed Keith, 59, according to Nicole Nishida of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

Johnson is described as a 6-foot, 2-inch Black male with a dark complexion and a closely shaved head, said Nishida.

Johnson weighs about 170 pounds, she added.

Officials Saturday released a previous booking photo of Johnson, taken when Johnson was arrested for Possession of Marijuana in 2007. Information on where Johnson was arrested in 2007, whether he was actually charged or if he served any jail time in connection to the previous charge was not immediately available Saturday morning.

Authorities do not know whether Johnson is from the Antelope Valley, and do not know of any areas where Johnson is known for frequenting, Nishida said.

“That’s why we are asking for the public’s assistance in locating him and his whereabouts,” she said. “So if they have any information, they should call Sheriff’s homicide detectives at 323-890-5500.”

Authorities said Johnson was wearing ski mask and hood and carrying a backpack and rolling suitcase, when he charged into e-Chaps Computer store at 2007 W. Avenue K. The thief shot store owner Reed Keith multiple times before escaping in a dark colored sedan, officials said.

Authorities thought they had Johnson surrounded late Friday night, but Johnson eluded capture.

Authorities thought they had Johnson surrounded late Friday night, but Johnson eluded capture.

Hours after the shooting, detectives believed they had tracked Johnson to a home in the 43000 block of Grange Street in Lancaster.

Dozens of deputies and members of the Special Enforcement Bureau surrounded the home and engaged in an armed standoff late Friday, but Johnson escaped capture and officials disbanded around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Authorities are asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Timothy Johnson, 24, to contact Sheriff’s homicide detectives at 323-890-5500.

* An earlier version of this story had an incorrect weight for Timothy Johnson. Johnson is about 170 pounds.

  48 comments for “Gunman ID’d in computer store robbery, killing

  1. Ed Gomez
    March 30, 2012 at 8:38 am

    can anyone clear up some items. Some reports say that he was shot inside the store, other reports said the shooting occured outside the store.

    Some reports said that employees of adjacent businesses identified the victim as the owner of the computer repair store, almost as if the supposed customer/witness didn’t exist.

    Does the supposed customer/witness exist? Can’t authorities provide at least a generic description of the person?

    News reports tell only about happy customers of the computer repair store. An online search of business reviews turns up evidence of at least some unhappy/angry customers.

    Is the victim’s daughter Casey the same person who was his son Casey three years ago?

    How does the victim’s daughter maintain such composure and absence of affect?

    In a photo of the Wed. night candlelight gathering – Casey is shown wearing a baseball cap with a skull/crossbones.

    Within 24 hours after the shooting on Friday, TV news reports and printed news reports have quotes from Casey about her father’s death – is it simply coincidence that she uses vocabulary and phrasing identical to what is found in scientology coursework?

    The AV news found an arrest time of 7pm saturday for suspect Johnson, yet the sheriff press release lists 1am sunday as time of arrest. If we go with the earlier time – then the sheriff may have already had suspect detained or in custody before they first announced identity of suspect and requested public help in locating him.

    sheriff has provided no explanation of why they thought suspect was at residence which they surrounded on friday night and entered on saturday. sheriff claimed that suspect eluded their dragnet, but absent of any additional info the conclusion can be made that suspect was never at the Lancaster residence on Friday after the robbery.

    sheriff has indulged in self congratulation for conducting intensive investigation leading to quick capture of suspect – yet has revealed zero information of any kind, specific or generic, about any clues which lead to identify and locate suspect.

    what evidence does the sheriff have to give D.A. for prosecution of this suspect for the computer store crime last friday?

    the victim’s wallet alledgedly found in suspects residence??

    when was the wallet reported stolen, b4 or after it was “found” in suspect residence?

    was victim’s daughter shown video and audio of the robbery or given a transcript of the event? is that how she is able to recount the verbal exchange which occured b4 her father was shot by the robber? or is her account of the events simply a conjecture on her part?

    what is identity of all individuals who had in person or telephone contact with reed keith on fiday he was killed?

    has coroner established a time of death? is there a possibility that r. keith was already deceased before he was shot on friday afternoon? has coroner checked for cause of death other than apparent gunshots? if not, then shouldn’t the investigators request that coroner do toxicology testing for evidence that cause of death preceded gunshots?

    Assuming for purpose of example only, that sheriff has named and arrested correct shooter and driver in computer store crime – why don’t they suspect that Johnson is the driver and Ingraham is the shooter?

    • M Cox
      June 16, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Ed Gomez, I’m certainly interested in the reasons for your questions.

      As, while you do have a few facts that aren’t readily available to the public, your rudeness, blatant disregard for the victims, the victim’s family members and more, trying to provoke discredit to the deceased of a fully witnessed crime – is quite interesting and sounds as if you have ulterior motives.

      As to Casey? You couldn’t meet a more beautiful human being, and your line of questioning —- again —- to this WITNESSED Crime of cold blooded, pre-planned, organized vicious murder during a robbery —- and the actual stupidity of some of the unrelated and anger provoking questions you are posing make you sound like the Defense Attorney trying to write his court room documents on a forum board.

      Grasping at straws of idiocy.

      For what?

      Because, if you are the defense, or even a friend – of the “not-so-human” cold blooded, vicious, calculating, pre-meditated, violent, intentional murder during a robbery and you are trying to find ways to get him off the hook, or even mildly try to tell people to look in another direction (misdirection leads) – then you will be trying to help someone who is guilty of a crime that is horrendous, and you become just as guilty.

      IF… by some weird chance you’re not just some bizarre individual and you are indeed, the PD, let’s just hope you recuse yourself with this inane litany – and possibly manage to lose the entire case… Try not to let him off on a technicality….. because of your stupidity.

      And even if you’re not the Public Defender, trying to get this evil person out of jail… and you’re just someone trying to spark a commentary then allow me to tell you…. There are some things you should never say… and you’ve cross that threshold from normal human to viciously bizarre.

  2. roger
    March 30, 2012 at 2:46 am

    I hope they don’t make this as racial thing, crooks come in all shapes and colors, lets not forget that.

    • An honest citizen of Lancaster
      March 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

      But yet you made the death of Trayvon Martin into a racial thing…

    • Leon
      April 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Your right Roger. Sometimes crooks even look like Santa Clause.

  3. TEAL
    March 29, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I knew this business man, a good citizen of Lancaster. He was kind to fix my computer and allow me to take it home and pay him later. My friend helped me to pay him some money. I’ve observed him explain things to the customers.
    What is this idiot killer trying to prove being stupid to kill this nice man who probably have attempted to explain”This is all of today’s total. You are welcome to that. just be calm take the money and leave nice”. That SOB didn’t like calm people. He was trigger happy! He terrorized the town! Too bad about his family. don’t know his family. But Reed Keith was a great model of citizenry and business man. God forgive me that I cannot forgive that killer until he put that gun up his head and bang! amen!

  4. Julie Foster
    March 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I want to understand this correctly…..if I own my own store, I can carry a loaded gun …on my body…where all can see?? I WANT ONE!! It’s a proven fact…armed citizens equals lower crime rate. There is no chance for reasoning with these killers. Lancaster and Palmdale better wake the hell up and start helping to arm their citizens or this vigel tonight will just be one of many to come.

  5. Casey Keith
    March 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Hi all, I’m Casey, Reed’s daughter…

    Please understand that my father was NOT raciest. He offered to tell the guy where money was more than once. He asked the man to take anything just leave his customer alone. He was killed for being kind and offering. People make bad decisions in life. Yes my family has lost a father and husband and the community has lost a kind man who helped people. Please remember that although a tragedy has happened here, that kids family have now lost a son.

    Whatever the reason that this happened I only desire peace for our community. I hope that other parents see this and strive even harder to raise their children with honor and respect. Maybe these kind of senseless things will stop.

    I also want to thank the many officers who worked hard to take care of this. Thank you to the people who have prayed and supprted us durring this time. Thank you to our Mayor for working hard to get our town cleaned up. Thank you to God for allowing me to have Reed as my father.

    Please friends, lets not quibble over this crap. A crime happened and a jurry of peers will decide what is best. Tomorrow night at 7pm there will be vigil at his shop on 20th West and Ave K (Wed. 3/28/12) Please come in peace and with dignity. Any questions or comments you can call my office at 729-2823

    Thank you,
    Casey Keith

    • S. Parker
      March 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Wow, Mrs. Keith you are a truly CLASS ACT… For you to be thinking about Johnson’s family at a time like this shows that you are truly a remarkable person. I will gladly attend your vigil tomorrow and can’t wait to tell you in person how truly sorry I am about your loss.

      • Matt S
        March 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm

        What Parker said. To lose anyone, much less your dad to such senseless violence has to be? I have no words to describe it. So so sorry you have to live it. I will also try to be there to pay my respects to your dad. I hope I won’t miss the chance to meet such an amazing human. His daughter. You are a testament to what kind of man he was. To have raised such an exceptional person as yourself, he had to have been a great dad. I unfortunately work late, but no that I will stop regardless. As I’m sure others will to. This crime, no matter what is said here, is something your community realizes has cost you and your family something that can never be replaced. And I would like to think we will all have you and yours in our prayers.

    • Casey Keith
      March 28, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Thank you for the kind words. I look forward to meeting you all. Thank you for the prayers and please remember to dress warm, it’s still early Spring. I know the event is from 7-9pm but I am sure I will be there much later.

      Thank you,

    • nini
      March 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      So sorry for your loss and i want to commend you for having the stregnth to let God’s spirit speak thru you and say what you said. God will bless you for the courage to write such words in the midst of tradgedy.

    • really
      March 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Casey, I cannot imagine what you are going through. My condolences to you and your family and your poise and clarity during this difficult gives me hope and helps me to see that there are still amazing people in this world.

    • TEAL
      March 29, 2012 at 3:19 am

      I know God bless you for your courage to accept things you cannot change. However,it is the truth that we need to be allowed to protect ourselves our property, neighbors because them cowards got guns to shoot because they dare to bully, terrorize kind people. Yes I have noticed young black men and younger are being thugs would be killers because they use their color a race as “come on look at me I slap you the other way”. White people are being cowed, intimidated by them young black people. Hispanics and Asians I don’t notice much like the Black. Im not talking about older black. It’s the young ones! And they are not gangsters! Just thugs! Bullies! We need to run them to mind their respect and leave the hard working citizens businesses alone. All they have to do is be nice, obey the Golden Rule and go play chess in park if they have no jobs better yet volunteer to keep the town safe! I pray for you your family for the loss and no I pray to God to have mercy on me for my resentment toward Black young men and some girls! I hope his family will turn him in! I liked your father!May he meet Steve Jobs! amen

    • Miko S
      March 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Hello Casey

      I must say that you are truly one remarkable human being with a heart of gold. My heart goes out to you and your family. I recently got the pleasre of meeting your dad when I took my daughters ipod to him to be repaired. He was such a nice, honest man and I really enjoyed talking to him. God bless you and your family through this difficult time.

    • Denise Latanzi
      March 30, 2012 at 1:14 am

      I did not know your father well, but I did have the pleasure of talking to him on occasion, and he was one of those people who could put a smile on just about everyone’s face. From the moment I met him, he treated me like he had known me forever. He never forgot my name, always had a kind word, and treated everyone like they were his extended family.
      I also belong to the same tragic family. My brother was killed during a robbery, just absolutely senseless. It’s a horrible thing that there are people out there that have so little respect for life.
      I hope you take some comfort from the fact that there are a whole lot of people, just like me, who will always remember your father for the way he treated everyone, with kindness, decency. and respect.

  6. Dave
    March 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Let me see on parole for robbery has had a criminal record his whole life way to go California,lets start at home and at school a good wiping when you screw up lets take discipline out of the dictionary since we don’t need it or use it,if we protested or marched every time a white man was killed we would still be marching you could call it the million mile march,as for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, where are they when there so called people do wrong, so keep giving Section 8 and this will never end in the antelope valley RIP Keith and God bless.

  7. Abdul Majeed Askia
    March 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    We should arm ourselves with wisdom,knowledge and a greater understanding
    of community and respect for life ! What part is that we are missing,violence triggers more violence ! If everyone armed themsselves
    what will we have achieved socially ? Everyone walking around with revolvers and automatic weapons ! It is one thing to own a weapon and
    protecting your property and family and a whole nother issue when the public takes pride in carrying weapons ! What about churches,mosque,center,
    sysnagogues and various organizations teaching community development
    and reaching out to less educated and guided people ? Believe it or
    not for some people they live in concrete jungles where ruthlessness is
    the order of the day ! The way to get to the root of ignorance is
    education,knowledge !Instead of just ware-housing prisoners turn the place
    into educational centers as opposed to torture houses !

    Punishment is one thing but it is another to keep a person five,ten and
    fifteen years and treat them worst than wild animals and then turn
    them aloose on society !!! I guess thats why some folks equate themselves
    with dogs, whats up dog ! If you beat,kick,stump,yell and agitate a
    dog for years,once that gate comes open everybody insight is in
    danger ! Ignorance on al sides is needlessly creating hostile setting.

    This is not 1512,this is 2012 ! We are very scientific in all fields of
    knowldge. We now know about cause and effect ! We know how to train and
    teach every creature on the planet . You can’t tell me that when someone
    has thousands/millions of people locked down at one time that they
    don’t know what being locked up in cages cause.

    • ...
      March 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      The lovey dovey is all well and good but the FACT remains…. Individuals need to take responsibility for protecting THEMSELVES. As long as there are evil people, we will NEED to protect ourselves. Until the day when we “love-and-educate” the evil out of the world, having the MEANS to protect ourselves is vital. Whether or not a generation or two in the future will be safe (safeER maybe, but I doubt ever 100%), but as of today, the sheriff dept spends too much time investigating murders.

      And I think an armed citizenry absolutely produces social change. If criminals are worried that their potential victims may be armed, they might be deterred, and if not, that victim doesn’t HAVE to be a victim.

      This is not the middle east, or the wild west. Many law abiding citizens in other states carry concealed, and it has proven to reduce violent crime (look at AZ). Statistics show that in states where it is more difficult for a law abiding citizen to obtain a firearm, the more violent crimes occur (look at DC).

      People think that allowing people to carry guns will suddenly create a situation where everyone is shooting at each other. Do you really think modern Americans are that primitive? Like we will forget what a bullet can do to your body all of a sudden and lose respect for human life? Like getting a gun is what inspires crime? That’s not how it works.

      Right now, the only people armed walking the street (besides law enforcement) are criminals… AND THE CRIMINALS KNOW THIS! Seems like an unfair advantage to give them.

      So continue your effort to save our future. I, however, am a little preoccupied with a need to secure the present.

    • really
      March 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Your absolutely right education is the best long term solution. But laws need to be enforced and penalties enforced. I have sympathy and understanding for a 13yr old with no guidance or role models. This is where intervention and education comes into play. When you are an adult its a different story, as an adult it is up to you to seek out change. And dont tell me that our prison sentences are to strict… by the time you get a stiff sentence you have either committed a vicious act or its the umpteenth time youve been arrested. Now since you are talking theory here how do we fix the absolutely ridiculous fact that a vast majority of young black men grow up without a father. If you want to effect change job one needs to be figuring out why so many black men are not fathers to their children. Government cannot fix this problem.

      • Facts
        March 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

        TCAL and the AV Chapter of the NAACP have the answers. Just waiting for one of them to share it with the rest of us?

        • really
          March 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

          I meant that as a serious statement. Please dont post flippant remarks on this question. I want to see what people like Abdul offer in the form of a solution. I am tired of seeing African American ” Leaders” like Sharpton condemn me for being a white male, all the while standing silently as millions of black children are growing up without fathers. We need more people like Bill Cosby who want to address problems and less people like sharpton who want the black man to always need help…..

          • Facts
            March 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm

            Really, believe it or not, you and I are on the same page! I’m just as fed up with the Poverty Pimps!

  8. Mel
    March 25, 2012 at 11:20 am


  9. Tommy boy
    March 25, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Good job LASD!!! Now he will die in jail !!!

  10. Just calling it like I see it
    March 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Wow! Captured in South Central. I’m not even a cop and I called it when I said welcome to Comptoncaster in the last article about this scumbag! Now, how did I know he would be hiding down there? Hmmmm

    • common sense
      March 25, 2012 at 10:06 am

      But his mama moved up here to the AV “to get away from all that crap.” Darren Parker’s press conference is also scheduled for Monday……NOT!

    • Palmdale_Steve
      March 25, 2012 at 10:21 am

      Wonder if his “baby momma” was driving the car?

  11. ...
    March 25, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I love the captured stamp. Would have been great if it was an animated gif. Any details in regards to the who/what/when/where/why/how of his capture?

  12. Rich Hawkins
    March 24, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Maybe this guy will have a terrible accident while being captured ;) Scumbag, I hope someone makes it slow and painful!

  13. Abdul Majeed Askia
    March 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    This is a total tragedy for the entire community. A senseless act of violence that in many cases could have been prevented from the collective
    actions of the community ! Imagine the heart break and shock the family
    is experiencing.Imagine the pain the entire famuly,relatives and friends
    are feeling. Not to mention the fact that even the guns life is destroyed,
    his mother would have to be devestated,relatives,friends and family. It
    is just a total lost all the way around! If we as community woulkd make
    greater efforts to connect with one another,to teach,edcate and reach
    out to our youth regarding senseless violence and the pain it causes among
    so many people.

    We ar having a round table discussion with numerous community leaders
    concerning community development,crime and prison recidivism. We are
    bringing together the minds and human resources to address these very
    issues and provide solutions

    Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and all those affecttd by
    this tragedy!

    Again,our condolence.

  14. ...
    March 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Another factor to consider is the increased likelihood in cases similar to this one is that bystanders would be more likely to be armed. This particular instance may have not been avoided due to lack of bystanders (I am unsure if there were any). These heinous acts in general, however, could be significantly reduced by more of the public legally carrying weapons so if the victim is not armed, someone nearby might be.

    Beyond that, what I think is worth mentioning is that if CCWs were more widely available to the law-abiding citizenry of California then eventually it would create an actual change in many people’s mentalities. In particular, more criminals would grow to assume everyone is armed all of the time.

    I by no means think this is the end-all-be-all solution to violent crime, but it could definitely be a good start.

    • Michael Johnon
      March 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

      I agree, we need to be able to protect ourselves at any time not only in our homes!

  15. Doug
    March 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Why is this not a hate crime, all crime are hate crimes. Sorry for the family lost and will be praying for them. John 3:16

    • Richard Bryant
      March 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Not a hate crime because it is impossible for a black to hate a white politically, but it is always white people who hate blacks. This is unfortunate and like everything else in our culture, greatly polarized. I teach my kid to respect or disrespect behavior, not race.

  16. Just calling it like I see it
    March 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Second act of violence in the A V where an African American is the perp within a twenty-four hour period. Welcome to Comptoncaster! Just calling it like I see it!

  17. Richard Bryant
    March 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Yes to CCW. BacA is an idiot who needs to leave office. The violence in LA would be reduced if we issued CCW’s like Florida does! Yes Florida!

    • ...
      March 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      AZ is another example… No CCW required to carry concealed/loaded. It would be nice to level the playing field…

  18. Palmdale_Steve
    March 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Interview on Channel 5 with the victims daughter and a customer who knew the victim. A bit more detail of how this went down.

    Very sad.

  19. March 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Palmdale Steve, you are correct. Timothy Johnson is not 270 pounds, but is 170 pounds. The error was my mistake and we have corrected the article. Thank you for tracking down the booking photo, as well. We will verify it and add it to the story.

    • Palmdale_Steve
      March 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      While checking, please look into the previous offense that this booking photo came from.

      Whoever drove the getaway car is also going to be charged with murder committed in the commission of a crime. If that other fool has a lick of sense he’ll turn him/herself in hope that he/she gets a deal from the DA.

  20. SoTiredOFthisCrap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    March 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Bring On the Eye In the Sky, pronto! If you don’t like it, you can get the f— out of town!

    • ...
      March 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      All of this support for eye in the sky is ridiculous, and hard to believe… Actually, I can understand why some people believe a lot of the posters on this site are puppets posting propaganda. How can people seriously think a Cessna spying on you in your yards on your own property would have prevented this? AT BEST, surveillance cameras MIGHT be used to find/follow suspects AFTER THE CRIME IS COMMITTED…. Want to prevent crimes like this? Allow CCW permits for law abiding citizens.

      The eye in the sky program is perverted voyeurism dressed up as the illusion of safety.

      • Matt S
        March 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm

        The CCW permits would make the eye-in-sky pointless. And then the local gang wouldn’t be able to give their friends 1.4 mill and $90,000 a month. So we won’t get those CCW permits. Vote them out!

        • ...
          March 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

          I plan on doing a lot of nude sunbathing starting next month…. I feel sorry for whoever is at the monitors (well, ALMOST sorry), it’s not a pretty sight.

          • Boscoe
            March 25, 2012 at 8:30 am

            Did anyone call Darren to see if he was going to lead a vigil in Lancaster over this horrible killing? A defenseless store owner against an armed murderer?

  21. Palmdale_Steve
    March 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Here’s a link to a picture, I don’t think this guy is 270 pounds as described in the article. The picture is a mug shot from another arrest.

  22. Palmdale_Steve
    March 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Wow, that was fast ID. I wonder how they made the ID so fast?

    At 270 lb, 6 foot 2 inch, he’s going to have a hard time hiding out anywhere.

Comments are closed.