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2 dead in Boyle Heights, including suspect shot by police

Two people shot and killed in Boyle Heights; one died after officer-involved shooting, authorities say

Police continued their investigation Thursday into shootings that left two men dead, one of whom was believed to be a suspect and was killed by police.

Hours after the deadly shootings, investigators were still trying to gather information about how the events transpired in Boyle Heights.

The drama unfolded about 10:25 p.m. Wednesday after officers were patrolling near 4th and Soto streets when they heard gunshots, said LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado.

The Hollenbeck station officers then saw a man "collapse and fall" in the middle of 4th Street, Sgt. Barry Montgomery said. The 29-year-old man died.

The officers called for backup, saying they were at the scene of a possible shooting, Montgomery said. The officers then spotted another man running east from the scene.

A police helicopter arrived in the area, Montgomery said, and also saw the man thought to be the suspect.

The helicopter tailed the man to Mathews Street, directing officers where to go, Montgomery said. When officers arrived, they found a man armed with a handgun, he said. The officers "confronted the suspect" and the shooting occurred. The suspected gunman, 39, was killed.

It was still not clear if the man fired at the officers or how many officers fired their weapons, Montgomery said. He said multiple units were on the scene at the time.

The shootings occurred within a few minutes, he said. No officers were injured in the shootings.

Officers retrieved a handgun at the second crime scene, police said.

Carlos Zamudeo, 72, said he was watching television with his wife when he heard the gunshots. He said his daughter was in the kitchen.

"She told us to get down," Zamudeo said. "We threw ourselves to the ground."

Angeles Figueroa, 56, said she and her husband were calling it a night when they heard popping noises. Shootings are rare in the neighborhood, residents say.

"It's a nice neighborhood," Figueroa said. "There's a lot of families here."

Wednesday night's shooting in Boyle Heights came less than a week after a South Carolina officer fatally shot an unarmed man in the back as he was running away.

Walter Scott's death, which was captured on video, has received international attention and renewed criticism of police. The officer who shot him has been charged with murder.

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith acknowledged the intense scrutiny police shootings have received after high-profile incidents nationwide but stressed the L.A. shooting should be judged independently.

"Recently, and especially after the events in South Carolina, everybody has been playing close attention to officer-involved shootings," Smith said. "We need to remember that every officer-involved shooting has to be evaluated based on its own merit and its own set of circumstances -- not what happened 3,000 miles away."

For breaking news in California, follow @katemather@VeronicaRochaLA and @LATvives. 

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

11:30 a.m.: Updated with comments from neighbors; adds ages of deceased.

10:02 a.m.: Updated with more details from police.

9:19 a.m.: Updated with comments from police officials.

6:49 a.m.: Updated with investigation continuing Thursday.

This story was first published at 11:27 p.m. Wednesday.

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