Mother of murdered man says killer accused of murder should have been in prison – NBC Los Angeles

The 18-year-old woman accused of killing one man and wounding two others in a shooting at a San Pedro bar in January was arrested months earlier with a loaded gun, but Los Angeles County prosecutors decided against filing charges that would have carried a prison sentence, police and prosecutor records show.

“It's terrible, the system is terrible,” said Ira McGrady, the mother of murdered Tyrone Tyars, after learning that the man accused of killing her son had been incarcerated about three months before the shooting.

“She was released, they didn't investigate it further,” McGardy said of the prosecutor's decision not to pursue the most serious charge.

“They just swept it under the rug,” she said. “I'm not going to sweep it under the rug. It's about my son.”

Tyars was 33 years old and the father of two young boys when he was killed at the Machista bar on Pacific Avenue on Jan. 20. Tyars' wife and another man were also shot and survived.

LAPD reports obtained by the I-Team indicate that the woman accused of Tyars' murder, Estrella Rojas, was stopped on November 6, 2023, by Harbor Division gang investigators who suspected that she and a companion might be armed.

Officers wrote that Rojas and another woman dropped the bags they were carrying into a flower pot as officers approached them. Weapons were also found during a search of the bags.

“The firearm recovered from Rojas' backpack was a black Ruger American 9mm semi-automatic. It had (1) live 9mm in the chamber and (16) live 9mm cartridges in the magazine,” the report states.

The LAPD asked prosecutors to file charges of concealed carrying of a firearm, which can be punished as a felony if the person arrested is “an active member of a criminal street gang,” according to arrest records and the California Penal Code.

The arrest reports said Rojas was a known member of a street gang in San Pedro, that she bore the gang's tattoos on her body, and that she had “self-admitted” her membership in early 2023.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office declined to file charges in its memo, naming Rojas as a gang member and identifying the gang she allegedly belongs to, but referred the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney, who sought to file misdemeanor charges.

“In accordance with our long-standing practice as set forth in Section 17(b) of the Penal Code, the matter was referred to the Los Angeles City Attorney because she had no criminal history at the time of submission,” the district attorney's office said in an emailed statement Thursday.

“Our condolences go out to the family of Mr. Tyrone Tyar, who was killed in a shooting in San Pedro in January 2024 that also injured several others,” the statement said.

“Our office is working to hold Estrella Rojas accountable for her alleged actions in this horrific act of violence. We are committed to ensuring justice is served for Mr. Tyar's family and the victims,” ​​it said.

Court records show that Rojas pleaded no contest to a weapons charge on Nov. 8 and was sentenced to one year of probation, in addition to the three days she had already spent in jail.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Debra A. Cole revoked Rojas' probation in early March after he was arrested by LAPD South Bureau homicide investigators on suspicion of the January bar shooting.

“I don't understand it,” McGrady said of the decisions that led to Rojas' release after the gun arrest.

“My son has two children, two sons, and I want justice for them,” she said.

“This is not fair, this is not right. I am so scared, it hurts me so much, I am devastated. This is not fair.”

Rojas is awaiting trial for the bar shooting. He faces one count of murder with a firearm and two counts of attempted murder with a firearm.

She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Rojas' attorney with the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case or the previous arrest.