A San Fernando Valley homeless man was on life support Monday after he was shot in the head at point-blank range during what police say was a fight with two gang members over $50.
The fight occurred about 2:30 p.m. Sunday on a sidewalk in the 9000 block of Tobias Avenue in Panorama City, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The 31-year-old victim, whose name has not been released, was arguing with a 21-year-old man over a $50 debt or theft when they started to struggle, LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said.
According to witnesses, another person approached and shot the victim in the head, Vernon said.
"His injury is quite devastating, and the victim is not expected to survive," Vernon said in a statement.
Gang officers stopped a group of people at a nearby park, where witnesses identified the 21-year-old man as Robert Chapman, police said.
Investigators were then able to figure out the identity of the alleged shooter, a 17-year-old man who was arrested about 7:30 a.m. Monday as he was leaving his home in San Fernando. Police have not released his name.
Chapman and the 17-year-old, described by authorities as gang members, were booked on suspicion of attempted murder and could face murder charges if the victim dies. The victim was not a gang member, authorities said.
According to Crime L.A., reports of violent crime jumped significantly in Panorama City for the week starting Jan. 21. There were eight violent crimes reported during that span, compared with an average of 3.8 violent crimes a week during roughly the last three months.