Good Samaritan Wounded as He Defends Ice Cream Vendor

Times Staff Writer

A gunman shot a 21-year-old Mission Hills man who tried to come to the rescue of an ice cream vendor attacked by five suspected gang members Sunday on a residential street in Sepulveda.

The five youths were arrested, and one was held on suspicion of attempted murder.

The ice cream vendor disappeared and police have been unable to find him.

The good Samaritan, who asked police to withhold his name because he fears reprisals, was in stable condition at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center on Monday after having been shot in the right arm, said Detective Frank Bachman.

Witnesses told police that they saw five youths beating a man pushing an ice cream cart at Nordhoff Street and Columbus Avenue at about 5:30 p.m., Bachman said. When a man tried to stop the attackers, one of the youths shot him, the detective said.

Bystanders drove the wounded man to a nearby hospital, where he was given emergency treatment. He was later transported by ambulance to County-USC Medical Center, Bachman said.

The ice cream vendor suffered minor cuts and bruises, but managed to escape his attackers, witnesses told police.

When officers arrived, they found the suspected assailants and recovered a pistol believed to have been used in the shooting, Bachman said.

The youth believed to have fired the gun was held on suspicion of attempted murder, Bachman said. The other four were held on suspicion of lesser offenses, including fighting in public and being accessories to a crime, he said.

The youths were being held at Sylmar Juvenile Hall.

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