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Man is shot point-blank in the head in argument over $50, LAPD says

By Ari Bloomekatz

2:18 PM PST, February 3, 2014

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A  San Fernando Valley homeless man is on life support after he was shot in the head Sunday at point-blank range during what police say was a fight with two gang members over $50.

The fight occurred at about 2:30 p.m. on a sidewalk near 9010 Tobias Avenue in Panorama City, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The 31-year-old victim, whose name was not immediately released, was arguing with a 21-year-old man over a $50 debt or theft when they started to struggle, according to LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.

According to witnesses, another person approached and shot the victim point-blank in the head, Vernon added.

"His injury is quite devastating, and the victim is not expected to survive," Vernon said a statement Monday.

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 around 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.

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com