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Three Men Slain, One Hurt in Possible Drug-Related Shooting

Times Staff Writer

Gunfire from a passing car left three young men dead and a fourth wounded on a sidewalk in Compton early Monday in what neighbors said was a dispute over drug territory.

Police said they were investigating drug- and gang-related motives for the slaying, although none of the victims had a background of gang membership, Compton police Detective Stoney Jackson said.

A stolen blue Datsun, recovered Monday by Compton police a few blocks from the shooting scene, contained spent cartridges and other debris that “compared to what we found on the street,” Jackson said.

List of Suspects

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Fingerprints and other evidence were being analyzed, the detective said, and “a whole bunch of names of possible suspects” had cropped up.

“We expect to have someone in custody by the end of the week,” Jackson said.

John Henry (Jerome) Corbin, 20, and his 18-year-old brother, Carl, were standing in front of their house on Sloan Avenue with two neighbors when at least three and possibly four men riding in a compact car “slowed down and just started blasting” with a large-caliber handgun and “some type of shotgun” before speeding away, Jackson said.

The older Corbin died at the scene, and Carl Corbin and Monte Harmon, 19, died a few hours later at area hospitals.

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The other neighbor, Keefe Jones, 27, was wounded in the shoulder. He was in stable condition at Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center.

Drug Connection Seen

“It wasn’t a gang war, it was more like a drug war,” LaVaugh Crawford, Jones’ girlfriend said, adding that Jerome Corbin had been involved in several shooting incidents in the area. Compton police said Corbin had no arrest record within their jurisdiction.

Crawford said the men were drinking beer in front of the house--two doors down from hers--when the shooting occurred shortly before 2 a.m.

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