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3 men with alleged gang ties held in Santa Monica slaying

Three men with suspected links to a street gang have been arrested in connection with a shooting near Santa Monica college that left a victim dead and another critically wounded, law enforcement authorities said Wednesday evening.

The shooting was reported Tuesday in an alley in the 1500 block of Michigan Avenue after a gunman walked up to two men and opened fire, the Santa Monica Police Department said.

The attack was city's third shooting incident in five days, including a rampage Friday in which a gunman killed four people and fatally wounded another before he was slain by officers. Police said the incidents were not related.

Photos: Santa Monica shootings

The three men arrested in connection with Tuesday's attack are Los Angeles residents who were described by police as being involved with a street gang. They are Christopher Chonan Osumi, 19; Meliton Lorenzo Lopez, 23, and Noah Jason Farris, 32, according to police.

Osumi and Lopez were arrested on suspicion of murder and were being held in lieu of $1.4-million bail.

Farris was arrested for allegedly being an accessory to a felony. He served time in state prison and was under the supervision of county probation authorities, police said in a statement. No bail was set in his case.

Police identified the slain man as Gil Verastegui, 29, who lived in Santa Monica. The second victim was in critical condition at a local hospital.

The city is reeling from Friday's bloody rampage. Police say 23-year-old John Zawahri killed his father and brother in their Yorkshire Avenue home and left a trail of violence that ended at Santa Monica College. Zawahri killed two other people and fatally wounded another before he was shot dead in the school library.

On Sunday afternoon, a cyclist was shot and wounded on Yorkshire Boulevard, not far from the Zawahri residence, police said. That man was in stable condition.

Anyone with information in Tuesday's slaying is asked to call Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959 or the Department Department at (310) 458-8495.



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